RealNews

LapLink Says Hackers Left Key Clue

While driving to work on Interstate 405 Thursday, Mark Eppley checked his e-mail from his cellphone and saw a message titled “Break-in attempt.” Eppley, the chief executive officer of Bothell software company LapLink, first thought that his business had been burglarized. “What are they going to steal, computers?” he thought. “Maybe they’ll get a Pentium 4 if they’re lucky.” Then his day got much worse. Someone had broken into LapLink’s computer system and planted enough bugs to disrupt business for days. E-mail had been down briefly and would soon be down again. Key files were missing, and other strange things were happening. LapLink had been hacked, a situation becoming increasingly common among corporations. Even as companies build one virtual wall after another around their computer networks, hackers are relentlessly searching out weaknesses and finding new ways inside. But LapLink’s crisis had an unusual twist. It looked like the hacking came from a computer address at another company: Classmates Online. The hackers used the login names and passwords of two former LapLink employees who had moved on to jobs at Renton-based Classmates Online. Those employees had been in charge of LapLink’s computer systems, and had intimate knowledge of — and, in some cases, created — the very network that was being targeted. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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