An anonymous foe
Hackers hit big companies, the IMF and the headlines
Jun 16th 2011 | SAN FRANCISCO | from the print edition
DEFENCE companies such as Lockheed Martin have seen some of their cyber-defences penetrated. Sony, Google, Citigroup and other firms have had sensitive customer data swiped by high-tech intruders. The IMF has been the victim of a digital attack, as has the website of America’s Senate. And a hackers’ collective, called Anonymous, has threatened to launch an online assault on the computer systems of America’s Federal Reserve unless its chairman, Ben Bernanke, agrees to step down.
These and other events—such as the attack on the public website of the CIA, which was disrupted briefly on June 15th—have led to speculation that there has been a big increase in the threat posed by hackers in recent months. They have also reinforced a belief in some quarters that America is already engaged in a cyber war of sorts, most notably with China. Yet such claims are controversial.