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Internet security experts have discovered a European cybercrime network that has been functioning for over a decade and preying on hundreds of "_banks, governments, research labs, critical infrastructure facilities, and more_, "according to a recent article published Wired UK website. The article indicates that this "_spear phishing_" operation has infiltrated organizations in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany for 12 years.
Reports say that the "_Israel-based_" security firms Cybertinel and Elite Cyber Solutions "_discovered and scuppered_" the band of attackers who orchestrated this long-running hack referred to as "_The Harkonnen Operation_" which "_achieved this with the help of 833 front companies registered in the UK_", according to the article. Executives at Elite Cyber Solutions advised that this operation was possible because of "_the UK's relatively tolerant requirements for purchasing SSL security certificates._"
Jonathan Gad, a chief executive at Elite Cyber Solutions, was quoted in the article to say, "The German attackers behind the network then had total control over the targeted computers and were able to carry out their espionage undisturbed for many years." Gad noted in the article that because this network had carried out this course of events for so many years, "security companies expect to discover infiltration across other nations in Europe_" along with others inside the United Kingdom. In the article, Gad went on to say, "_At this point, we are aware of the extent of the 'Harkonnen Operation', but the damage to the organizations who have been victims in terms of loss of valuable data, income or the exposure of information related to employees and customers is immeasurable."
Written by Bryon Turcotte / September 18, 2014