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China-based hackers reportedly targeted U.S. Chamber of Commerce

December 21, 2011 |  9:05 am

US Chamber of Commerce website

Hackers based in China reportedly pulled off a massive Web attack against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying group, which resulted in access to a significant number of confidential emails and documents.

Unnamed sources told both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal that the security breach took place in 2010 and gave the hackers access to information belonging to the Chamber's 3-million members.

The chamber, the U.S.' largest business lobbying group, is still investigating the attack, both reports said.

The strike is believed to be one in a wave of Web attacks from hackers based in China, along with previous reported hackings against "U.S. companies, business associations, and lobbying groups involved in trade policy associated with China," Bloomberg said.

Officials at the Chamber of Commerce were unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

According to the Journal's report, the chamber hasn't yet determined how much of its data was viewed or taken by the hackers, though evidence has been found that "hackers had focused on four chamber employees who worked on Asia policy, and that six weeks of their email had been stolen."

It is also possible that the hackers, who investigators suspect may have ties to the Chinese government, "had access to the network for more than a year before the breach was uncovered, according to two people familiar with the chamber's internal investigation," the Journal said.

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— Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screenshot of www.uschamber.com, the website of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying group. Credit: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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