About Johns Hopkins


Return to News Releases

MEDIA ADVISORY: Johns Hopkins Computer Security Expert Available for Interviews on Hacker Attacks Targeting The New York Times

February 1, 2013
Media Contact: Phil Sneiderman
Office: (443) 287-9960
Cell: (410) 299-7462

The New York Times reported this week that Chinese hackers have repeatedly attacked the newspaper over the past four months, “infiltrating its computer system and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.” The newspaper stated that “the attacks appear to be part of a broader computer espionage campaign against American news media companies that have reported on Chinese leaders and corporations.”

Following the disclosure by the New York Times, the publishers of the Wall Street Journal reported that the Journal’s computer systems also had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers, apparently to monitor its China coverage.

Available for interviews on this topic is Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science in The Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering and technical director of the university’s Information Security Institute. He has written or contributed to books on computer voting and Web security. He is associate editor of ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, associate editor of IEEE Security & Privacy and an advisory board member of Springer’s Information Security and Cryptography Book Series.

Rubin says the New York Times cyber-attacks “are interesting in that they highlight the differences between state-sponsored hacking activities and smaller efforts. When a well-funded, resourceful adversary targets an organization, they succeed more often than not. Had the New York Times not enlisted AT&T to monitor their network, this penetration could have continued indefinitely, with the Chinese government accessing emails and files of NYT employees and even monitoring the microphones and video cameras on their computers.”

He adds, “This underscores the importance of being vigilant and having multiple layers of security. I don’t think there is a target out there that is immune to compromise by another nation state. This cyberwarfare escalates the threat to levels not previously considered by most organizations.”

To interview Prof. Rubin, contact Phil Sneiderman.

 Related link:

Avi Rubin’s Web Page: http://avirubin.com/



Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/. Information on automatic E-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.

Office of Communications
Johns Hopkins University
3910 Keswick Road, Suite N2600
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Phone: 443-997-9009 | Fax: 443 997-1006