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Oil company hacks lead to questions of security

Ships work near the site of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The security company McAfee is not at liberty to say which companies were affected. McAfee says that there were several of them and the attacks took place over the course of many years. They also say the attacks seem to have come from several individuals working daytime hours and all in one place: Beijing. This would suggest that the attacks were not from some lone hacker working alone late at night but more of a concerted organized effort.

What's remarkable about the attacks is how they took place. Hackers were able to get in through the public websites of the company and, once inside, copy lots of valuable company information. They were also able to contact executives through emails and use very specific information to lure those executives to malware sites, providing further entry to those computers. These are fairly primitive attacks but the fact that they worked so well is a worrisome indicator of the security capabilities of these companies.

We talk to Dmitri Alperovitch, V.P. of threat research at McAfee. He outlines how the attacks took place and what it says about security. We also talk to Internet security expert Dr. Anup Ghosh, who says that if the Centers for Disease Control looked at global cyber security, they would call it a pandemic.

Also in this program, President Obama calls for a National Wireless Initiative. He wants to almost double the amount of available wireless spectrum and bring 4G network coverage to 98 percent of the country.

And we hear about a new Internet being built just for robots.

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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