* Calls attacks "sophisticated"
* Intel shares end 2.31 pct lower, steady after hours
(Adds security analyst comment, updates shares)
By Ian Sherr
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 23 Intel Corp (INTC.O) said
it faced a "sophisticated" hacker attack in January about the
same time as the recently publicized Chinese hacker attacks on
Google Inc (GOOG.O), but noted no clear link between the two
Google would not comment on whether Intel was one of the
roughly 20 unnamed companies that the world's No. 1 Internet
search engine said had been similarly targeted in attacks that
originated in China. [ID:nN12211882]
The attack was just one of what the world's largest
chipmakers said were regular attempts on its computer systems,
Intel said in a filing under a heading about potential theft or
misuse of the company's intellectual property.
"The only connection is timing," Intel spokesman Chuck
Mulloy said, declining to elaborate. The company first
publicized the attack and pointed out the similarity in timing
to the move on Google in an annual filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.
Now that Google has publicly admitted to being successfully
attacked without much damage to their reputation, analysts said
other companies are rethinking their typically tight-lipped
approach to security breaches.
Recent changes to disclosure laws and increased awareness
of cyber-security may also have prompted Intel to come clean,
But Intel did not say who was behind the attacks, from
where in the world they originated, or what information, if
any, had been taken.
Asked whether Intel had spoken or worked with Google on
this issue, Mulloy said: "Our security folks work very closely
and collaboratively throughout the industry."
"Companies are facing these threats and attacks all the
time," Fred Pinkett, vice president of product management for
Core Security Technologies, said.
In targeting companies like Intel, which have one of the
largest intellectual property portfolios in the world, hackers
may have been looking for bragging rights.
"Very rarely are they really trying to commit industrial
espionage, because it's really hard to do that without getting
caught," said Todd Feinman, chief executive of Identity
The reason Intel probably publicized the hack attempts was
to minimize the company's legal risks, he added. "The advantage
is that you're protecting yourself for when it finally does
happen and something really bad occurs, because you can say 'we
disclosed this information on our 10-K.'"
Intel shares closed down 48 cents, or 2.31 percent, at
$20.38 on Nasdaq. They edged up to $20.40 after hours.
(Reporting by Ian Sherr; Additional reporting by Alexei
Oreskovic; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Gerald E. McCormick and