06. December 2018 13:36 PM IS
Hackers behind a massive breakthrough at hotel group Marriott International Inc. left behind clues suggesting they've worked for a Chinese intelligence agency The Issue.
Marriott said last week that a hack that began four years ago had uncovered the records of up to 500 million customers in its Starwood hotel reservation system.
Private investigators who found the infringement investigating hacker tools, techniques and procedures previously used in attacks attributed to Chinese hackers said three sources that were not authorized to conduct the company's private investigation to discuss the attack.
This indicates that Chinese hackers have been behind a campaign designed to gather information to be used in Beijing's espionage efforts, and not for financial reasons.
While China has emerged as the prime suspect In the case, the sources warned that it was possible that someone else was behind the hack because other parties were able to access the same hacking tools, some of which have already been put online.
The perpetrator's finding is hampered by the fact that investigators are doing so, according to one source, several hacking groups may have been simultaneously on Starwood's computer networks.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not respond.
When investigators confirm that China is behind the attack The already tense relations between Washington and Beijing may become more difficult due to a current customs dispute and US charges of Chinese espionage and the theft of trade secrets.
Marriott spokeswoman Connie Kim declined to comment and said, "We have nothing to share" when asked about the involvement of Chinese hackers.
Marriott announced the hacker on Friday
Information on compromised customer information includes names, passport numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and e-mail addresses. A small percentage of the accounts contained encrypted payment card information, Kim said.
Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016 for $ 13.6 billion, including the Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Aloft, Le Meridien, Tribute, Four Points and Luxury Collection hotel brands make up the world's largest hotel operator.
The hack began in 2014, shortly after an attack on the US Office of Human Resources Management (OPM) compromised the sensitive data of millions of employees, including security clearance application forms.
John Bolton, Advisor for The National Security of the White House, told reporters recently, he believed Beijing was behind the OPM hack, an allegation that was first made by the United States in 2015, behind other hacks.
Former senior FBI official Robert Anderson said Reuters that the Marriott case looked similar to Hacks, as if the Chinese government was in front of ca in 2014 as part of its intelligence operations.
"Think of the depth of knowledge that they could have about travel habits now, or who was in another city at the same time as another," Anderson said as Deputy Director of the FBI until 2015.
"It fits in with the mindset of Chinese intelligence. It's all very far-reaching, "said Anderson, who was not involved in the investigation of the Marriott case and is now a director of the Chertoff Group.
Michael Sussmann, a former chief of the Department of Cybercrime Justice, said The Long The duration of the campaign was an indication that hackers were looking for information for information, not for information that should be used in cybercrime systems.
"An indication of an attacker of the government is the time when the invaders in the Network work quietly. "He said. "Patience is a virtue for spies, but not for criminals trying to steal credit card numbers."
FBI officials could not be reached immediately because they commented on the evidence linking the attack to China.
On Friday, a spokesman said the agency was investigating the attack, but refused execution.