Coca-Cola Co. was reportedly hacked in 2009 by what the FBI believes to be a state-sponsored attack from China. Other companies such as British energy company BG Group, Luxembourg-based steel maker ArcelorMittal and Chesapeake Energy were also reported as breached by the same cyber-gang.
Identified by security experts as â€œCommentâ€, the hacker group is believed to have had access to internal company documents related to Coca Colaâ€™s unsuccessful acquisition of China Huiyuan Juice Group, estimated at around $2.4 billion.
Infiltrating the computer of Paul Etchells, deputy president of Coca-Colaâ€™s Pacific Group, via an email claiming to come from the companyâ€™s CEO, a malicious link was served and used to install keyloggers and other malicious applications.
Using an Adobe exploit, hackers also targeted Brenda Lee, a Coca-Cola public affairs executive in China, by sending an email with a maliciously crafted PDF file.
With BG Group, ArcelorMittal, Chesapeake Energy, and Coca-Cola keeping the breaches away from the media, former cyber policy adviser to the U.S. Congress, Â Jacob Olcott, believes that â€œcompanies currently provide little information about material events that occur on their networks,â€ leaving investors clueless and at a disadvantage in business negotiations.
The cyber-gang is believed to have been responsible for these hacks and acquiring information regarding business investments in China is considered to have been their focus.
Cyber-security experts believe that companies that plan on doing business in China or have Chinese competitors should expect cyber-attacks seeking confidential files and access to company networks.