In its report of an attack by Chinese hackers on the paper, the New York Times stated that the anti-virus software it employed only detected one strain of malware among a list of 45 different malicious programs. The New York Times used anti-virus software by Symantec and Symantec has now published a statement saying the paper did not use its complete suite of anti-virus software and therefore could not expect complete protection.
The New York Times did report that Chinese hackers were able to infiltrate its network and that only security company Mandiant was able to remove all 45 strains of malware infecting its systems, saying that the Symantec software it used did not prevent the attack. In its response, Symantec said that using “only the signature-based anti-virus components of endpoint solutions alone are not enough.”
As well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Thomson Reuters news agency have now reported attacks on their organisations. According to the Wall Street Journal, hackers have been targeting it and other US media companies “for years”, mostly concentrating on the China-related coverage of these publications. It is alleged that the attacks are part of a concerted surveillance effort by state-sponsored Chinese groups targeting critical reporting of the Chinese government. Chinese officials have denied the allegations.