A group of hackers from China broke into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce computers, gaining access to the information about its operations and the database of its 3 million members, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The infiltration which involved at least 300 internet addresses was discovered and shut down in May last year. The emails ids revealed the names of companies and key people in contact with the Chamber, as well as its trade-policy documents, meeting notes, trip reports and schedules.
“What was unusual about it was that this was clearly somebody very sophisticated, who knew exactly who we are and who targeted specific people and used sophisticated tools to try to gather intelligence,” adds David Chavern, the executive vice president and chief operating officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
It’s not known how much of information the hackers could retrieve, or who may have had access to the network for more than a year, the Journal states.
China denies having to do anything with the US Chamber attacks.
“There’s nothing to be said about the baseless whipping up of so-called hacking and it won’t come to anything. Chinese law bans hacking,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
China is cited as a major suspect in most of the hacking attacks. US cybersecurity analysts and experts claim that cyber attacks on the US companies and government organizations are being carried out by as few as 12 different Chinese hacker groups, largely backed or directed by the government.