Microprocessor giant Intel said this week that it, too, was the victim of a sophisticated, China-based cyber-attack in January. But the company isn't sure whether the attack is related to the infamous cyber-attack on Google. The revelation came courtesy of an annual regulatory report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
"We regularly face attempts by others to gain unauthorized access through the Internet to our information technology systems by, for example, masquerading as authorized users or surreptitious introduction of software," the filing reads. "These attempts, which might be the result of industrial or other espionage, or actions by hackers seeking to harm the company, its products, or end users, are sometimes successful. One recent and sophisticated incident occurred in January 2010 around the same time as the recently publicized security incident reported by Google."
When Google announced that it had suffered "highly sophisticated and targeted" cyber-attacks that involved stolen data last month, it maintained that more than 30 other high-tech companies were also involved. And although several were quick to say that they weren't involved, few admitted that they had been attacked as well. Adobe, Symantec, and some other companies have said that they were investigating "suspicious activities" on their networks from that time period, however.
Intel notes that the attacks on its own corporate infrastructure weren't as "broad-based" as those on Google. And Intel didn't lose any intellectual property during the attacks, according to the company. People close to the Google investigation confirmed to various US publications that Intel was indeed one of the many companies, including Google, that were hacked as part of a concerted effort last month that originated from within China.
Last week, The New York Times implicated two technical schools in China, one of which allegedly has strong ties to the Chinese military, as being the source of the attacks. Those schools denied playing any role in the attacks, of course.