The US State Department is recovering from break-ins over

the past few weeks which have specifically targeted those offices dealing with North Korea and China.  It’s believed that attackers used low-volume,

targeted attacks in order to break in to the desired departments—these may have

taken the form of 0day Word and PowerPoint exploits which we have seen being

used increasingly in targeted


While State Department spokeswoman Nancy Beck stated that

there was no indication that any sensitive information had beed compromised,

Kurtis Cooper (department spokesman) said “Because the investigation is

continuing, I don’t think we even know.”, in response to being asked what

information had been stolen by the hackers.

The FBI would not comment on the case in an attempt to halt

any media speculation.  The Pentagon has

warned in the past that China’s

army see hacking as an offensive weapon, used to strike at enemies

networks.  Although the break-ins appear

to have originated from China

there is no way of discovering whether this is the origin of the attacks, or

simply the location of another infected system being used to proxy the attacks.

(1) Security Focus

(2) Yahoo