Intel has come forward and shared the curious information that it was hit with what it terms a “sophisticated” cyber attack in January–and if Intel thinks the attack is impressive, it probably was (have you seen their commercials? Smart people work over there!). Interestingly, while the attack sounds similar on the surface to the one suffered by Google, there doesn’t seem to be any verifiable connection between the two.
Both Intel and Google were hit around the same time, in January, and both attacks have been traced to China–but it looks like the actual goal of the strike was different, as Intel says it, unlike Google, has suffered no loss of intellectual property. From implication, it seems like the attack, as “sophisticated” as it was, may have simply been on a much smaller scale; an Intel spokesman said, “We did not see, and have not seen the kind of broad-based attack as was described with the Google situation.”
The attacks, which have also hit several other American companies, have ramped up in both size and intensity in the past few months. It’s unclear whether they’re a concerted effort by one organization (like, for example, the Chinese government, which has been hit with that very accusation) or they’re unrelated, as the Google and Intel attacks seem to be.