FBI warns of cyberattacks linked to China

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning to companies and organizations on Wednesday of cyberattacks by people linked with the Chinese government.

The advisory, issued privately, contains “information they can use to help determine whether their systems have been compromised by these actors and provides steps they can take to mitigate any continuing threats,” according to an FBI statement.

The warning comes a day after security companies said they’ve been working closely together to enable their products to detect several hacking tools used by a China-based group against U.S. and other companies over several years.

“The FBI has recently observed online intrusions that we attribute to Chinese government affiliated actors,” according to the FBI statement. “Private sector security firms have also identified similar intrusions and have released defensive information related to those intrusions.”

The U.S. government had continued to be vocal about cyberattacks and has directly called on China for greater cooperation. China has maintained it does not coordinate cyberattacks against U.S. companies and organizations and maintained it is a victim of such attacks as well.

On Tuesday, security companies Cisco, FireEye, F-Secure, iSIGHT Partners, Microsoft, Tenable, ThreatConnect, ThreatTrack Security, Volexity, Novetta and Symantec said they conducted their first joint effort aimed at stopping hackers affiliated with “Operation Aurora,” which struck 20 companies in 2009, including Google.

The group is also referred to as Axiom by Novetta and shares similarities with other groups and cyberattacks that have been named Hidden Lynx, Elderwood, Voho, DeputyDog, Ephemeral Hydra and ShellCrew by various security vendors.

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