Hades is a code name given to a wide ranging and persistent group of network intrusions into U.S.
military, government, and corporate systems. The operations can be broken down
into three sub-categories: Byzantine Candor, Byzantine Anchor and Byzantine Foothold.
Information on the hacks was first disclosed in a report by Reuters, citing
information contained in leaked diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. The
cables suggest that Chinese intelligence and military units and affiliated private
hacker groups have been penetrating US networks and stealing sensitive
proprietary data and otherwise valuable information for years. Highly targeted spear-phishing attacks are their weapon of
choice. The social engineering campaign has state-sponsored hackers combing the
Internet, looking for details on everything from U.S. government and commercial
employees’ job descriptions and networks of associates to how these officials
sign their emails. The real significance of Byzantine Hades though, is that it
proved conclusively that while the U.S. may have offensive capabilities of its
own, China is at least a step ahead, and has already netted terabytes of
invaluable classified and unclassified data from government, military, and
corporate Web sites.