Kicking off 2010, Google and more than 30 other corporations, including Intel and Adobe, suffered a serious malware attack, considered by some to be the most significant in corporate history. The attack, which appeared to be sourced from China, enabled hackers to infiltrate corporate networks to steal critical assets such as intellectual property.
During the attack, dubbed Operation Aurora, victims received a link delivered via e-mail or IM from what appeared to be a "trusted source." The victims clicked on the link, which redirected them to a malicious Web site hosted in Taiwan that exploited a zero-day Internet Explorer vulnerability to download malware onto their systems. The malware then set up a backdoor that connected the victims' computers to command and control servers in Taiwan, which turned the machines into drones and gave the attackers access to the crown jewels of all internal corporate systems.