Morgan Stanley was hit by a “very sensitive” breach to its network by the same attackers who penetrated computer systems maintained by Google and dozens of other companies, according to leaked emails reviewed by Bloomberg News.
The emails came from California-based HBGary, which suffered a major compromise of its own at the hands of hackers from Anonymous. After being hired by Morgan Stanley in 2010, HBGary members found that the world's top merger adviser fell prey to the so-called Aurora hacks, which siphoned source code and other sensitive data from the victim companies over a period of many months.
“They were hit hard by the real Aurora attacks (not the crap in the news),” Phil Wallisch, a senior security engineer at HBGary, wrote in one email.
In a May 10 email to HBGary President Penny Leavy-Hoglund, Wallisch wrote: “They have given me access to a very sensitive report on their Aurora experience. I will honor their wishes about not sharing the info with anyone, but the good news is that I have some great ideas for our final reports.”
A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the emails.
Morgan Stanley hired HBGary in 2010 to handle suspected network breaches. The attackers “successfully implanted software designed to steal confidential files and internal communications,” Bloomberg reported, citing dozens of HBGary emails. ®