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Corporations, agencies infiltrated by hacking

Thu, 02/18/2010 - 9:34am
JORDAN ROBERTSON - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press

Security experts have found a network of 74,000 virus-infected computers that stole information from inside corporations and government agencies. The find reflects the dangers of having computers with sensitive data connected to the open Internet.

More than 2,400 organizations, including financial institutions, energy companies and federal agencies, were infiltrated by the "botnet." That is according to the NetWitness Corp. security firm, which discovered it.

The victims weren't specifically targeted, though, unlike the recent computer attacks on Google Inc. that prompted the Internet search leader to threaten to pull out of China. That's an important distinction: Online secrets can get compromised even when criminals aren't necessarily looking for them.

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