McAfee Offers Guidance and Protection as China-Linked Google Cyberattack Continues to Unfold

McAfee, Inc. today released guidance
to help organizations determine if they were targeted in the same
sophisticated cyberattack that hit a growing list of companies,
including Google. The high profile cyberattack, linked to China by
Google, targeted valuable intellectual property.

“This is the largest and most sophisticated cyberattack we have seen in
years targeted at specific corporations,” said McAfee Worldwide Chief
Technology Officer George Kurtz. “It is a watershed moment in
cybersecurity because of the targeted and coordinated nature of the
attack. As a result, the world has changed; organizations globally will
have to change their threat models to account for this new class of
highly sophisticated attack that goes after high value intellectual

As part of the fallout of the attack, Windows users currently face a
real and present danger due to the public disclosure of a serious
vulnerability in Internet Explorer. McAfee was the first to discover
and announce that an Internet Explorer vulnerability was a key vector
in the attack on Google and others. Unfortunately, the risk has been
compounded because the attack code that exploits this Internet Explorer
vulnerability has now been posted in the public domain, increasing the
possibility of widespread attacks. McAfee technologies provide
protection against current threats related to the attack on Google and

How to know if your organization was compromised

Over 30 organizations have reportedly been targeted by the same attack
that hit Google and the list of victims continues to grow. McAfee calls
the cyberheist “Operation Aurora” and today provided detailed guidance
to help organizations determine if they were impacted by the attack,
which occurred over the December holidays and into early January.

McAfee’s guidance involves two steps:

1) If you are a McAfee customer, verify that you are using the latest
threat definition files and perform a full scan on all machines within
your enterprise.

2) Inspect network traffic history for communication with external systems associated with the attack.

3) Examine computers for specific files or file attributes related to the attack.

Detailed guidance is available on the McAfee Web site.

How to protect against the Internet Explorer vulnerability

McAfee products protect against attacks that may use the now publicly
available exploit to attempt to attack Internet Explorer users and the
malware used in the attack on Google and others:

1. McAfee consumer and enterprise PC security products provide
protection against the malicious computer programs used to target
Google and others through the threat definition files released on
January 11 and through the McAfee real-time, cloud-based Global Threat
Intelligence. Current customers should ensure the latest definition
files are installed and that cloud detection is enabled. McAfee
consumer security products are available online.

2. McAfee Network Security Platform
detects attacks that use the Internet Explorer zero-day exploit through
the threat definition files released on January 15. Users of the McAfee
Network Security Platform should ensure the latest definition files are

3. McAfee Web Gateway and McAfee Firewall Enterprise
provide powerful Web security technology to filter malicious traffic on
the network. Users of either of these McAfee products should ensure
that outbound Web security capabilities are enabled and malware
scanning within the firewall is based on the latest signatures and
associated rules.

Use Advanced McAfee Technology To Detect Future Attacks

The attack on Google and others marks a new, high-risk era in the world
of cybercrime where these advanced persistent threats are no longer
targeted at just governments, but are also targeted at organizations in
many different sectors. McAfee is making available free trials
of its advanced protection technologies to help companies shield
themselves against sophisticated attacks such as the recent attack on
Google and others.

Organizations can evaluate the following McAfee technologies at no cost:

  • McAfee Network Threat Response,
    a network security appliance that automatically analyzes threats
    attempting to spread on a network. McAfee Network Threat Response would
    have allowed victims to detect the attack that hit Google and others.
  • McAfee Application Control,
    a whitelisting application that prevents zero-day attacks past and
    future and ensures only trusted applications run on servers and PCs. It
    reduces risks from unauthorized software, boosts endpoint control,
    extends the viability of fixed-function systems without impacting
    performance, and lowers operating costs.

Also, McAfee Foundstone has consultants who are available for forensic investigations. Complete the “911 Contact Form” on the Foundstone Web site for help.

McAfee will continue to provide updates on the attack that hit Google and other cyberattacks on its Web site and blog.


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