McAfee IDs attacks on Google, Adobe systems

January 14, 2010 3:58:57 PM PST
The China-based attack on computer systems operated by Google, Adobe and others now has a name: Aurora. Santa Clara-based Internet security firm McAfee says the vulnerability has been pinpointed to Microsoft's Internet Explorer and that Microsoft is working on a patch.

McAfee's worldwide technology officer, George Kurtz, told ABC7 News Wednesday that it appears that the attack was made possible by individual employees downloading a program that made corporate computer systems vulnerable. Kurtz Thursday gave further details -- that the malicious program created a back door to enable an intruder to search for and access sensitive documents and e-mail.

The name Aurora was part of the code in the malware and McAfee believes that was its given name by the programmers behind the attack.

McAfee's investigation points out that all of Microsoft's recent Windows operating system versions are vulnerable, including the newest version, Windows 7.

"The current bumper crop of malware is very sophisticated, highly targeted and designed to infect, conceal access, siphon data or, even worse, modify data without detection," said McAfee's Kurtz. Once discovered, it is too late to protect the computer system.

Aurora, Kurtz says, is just the tip of the iceberg.