08/03/2011 07:09 EDT | Updated 10/03/2011 05:12 EDT

McAfee Hacking Report: Scheme Targeted Olympic Organizers, Governments, Companies

TORONTO - Computer security company McAfee has issued a report detailing a five-year hacking scheme that targeted countries, companies and numerous organizations.

McAfee says there were more than 70 intrusions from the same source over the past five years, including four in Canada. Forty-nine of the targets were in the United States.

The earliest, in July 2008, targeted an unidentified Canadian information technology company for four months, then the Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency was infiltrated for 14 months in August 2009.

McAfee says two unidentified Canadian government agencies were targeted, the first in October 2009 for six months and the second in January 2010 for one month.

It says the governments of the U.S., Taiwan, India, South Korea and Vietnam were also on the target list, along with the IOC, the United Nations and an array of companies. The Washington Post reported that among the targets were U.S. defence companies and the U.S. Department of Energy.

One expert cited by the paper felt that the attacks likely originated in China citing attacks on the IOC in the months leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and targets in Taiwan and the U.S.

The report author, Dmitri Alperovitch, says most victims have long since addressed the infections and the report is meant to reinforce the fact that anyone can fall prey to intrusions.

McAfee has dubbed the scheme Operation Shady RAT, with RAT being a common acronym in the computer industry meaning Remote Access Tool.

With files from the Huffington Post Canada