Mystery hackers are “hyperjacking” targets for insidious espionage


Marco Rosario Venturini Autieri/Getty Images

For decades, virtualization software has provided a way to dramatically increase computer efficiency by hosting entire collections of computers as “virtual machines” on a single physical machine. And for almost as long, security researchers have been warning of the technology’s potential downside: theoretical “hyperjacking” and “blue pill” attacks, in which hackers hijack virtualization to spy on and manipulate virtual machines without potentially finding a target computer to break into to recognize. This insidious espionage has finally moved from research reports to reality with warnings that a mysterious team of hackers has been conducting a series of “hyperjacking” attacks in the wild.

Today, Google’s security firm Mandiant and virtualization company VMware jointly released warnings that a sophisticated hacking group had opened backdoors into…

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