Hackers Use Google to Steal Corporate Data and What it Means for Your Organization

Sophisticated hackers recently used a previously unknown strategy to cover their tracks in an elaborate scheme to steal data from corporate and government computers. If you deal with sensitive digital information of any type, you need to be aware of this attack and the ever-evolving threat that hackers like this create.

The issue was first discovered by the network security firm FireEye as it was analyzing traffic involved with a different data breach. The names of the victims were not disclosed, but is was revealed that they ranged from a financial institution to an Asian government organization.

The attack was based around a spear-phishing strategy – an increasingly common method for hackers to gain access to sensitive information by sending out messages designed to appear like they are coming from authorized sources. What was different about this attack was that the perpetrators used both Google Developers and a public domain name system to make it look as if secretly redirected traffic was in fact headed to its intended destination.

The malware used appeared to be legitimate to all except the most sophisticated observers because it carried the HTTP headers of as many as 21 legitimate domains. In addition, the hackers used Google Developers – a resource used by software developers to help utilize Google products – to host code that  made their strategy even harder to recognize. Data security experts acknowledge that this approach is something new, and while it was ultimately identified and shut down, it did manage to exploit previously unrecognized security flaws.

The methods used by these hackers were subtle and sophisticated enough to fool at least one network administrator – the professional tasked with rooting out just these kinds of misdirections – and to go unnoticed by Google itself. That underscores the fact that all companies, regardless of size or industry, need to make data security a priority. Ultimately, the only way to stay ahead of the game is to rely on a top-tier tech team that can can keep pace with highly-motivated and resourceful hackers.

Building that team requires resources that many companies simply do not possess. Finding and ultimately attracting the best technical experts in the industry right now requires specialized recruiting experience that falls outside the experience of most HR departments. That is why proactive companies are turning to industry-specific staffing companies to help them build a workforce that can respond to threats like the one most recently uncovered.

If you are concerned about the threat of hackers that will use every tool at their disposal to steal your mission-critical digital assets, consult with the experts at The Squires Group. Our recruiters specialize in finding the best of today’s technical talent. When you need to evolve your workforce quickly and effectively, rely on our team to rise to the occasion.

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