European Commission headquarters in Brussels. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Security firm Area 1 says it discovered a hacking campaign that hit as many as 100 different targets dating back to 2010, including the European Union's secure COREU network — attacks Area 1 attributes to the Chinese government. In the course of the hacking, data, including diplomatic cables, were posted to a public website.

Why it matters: Though the website was not intended for the public to find, its existence meant that anyone who found that site gained access to the documents — including any of the 100 largely public policy-based victims who may have pulled the threads of their own attack.

China appears to be the culprit, according to Area 1's report, because malware, internet addresses and domain registration used in the hack match earlier known Chinese attacks. The victims chosen and data exfiltrated also demonstrate interests like the South China Sea and other topics of relevance to China.

Details: The operation was able to exist so long without being uncovered because the many victims did not employ defenses typical for military or business targets, said Oren Falkowitz, CEO of Area 1.

  • "The campaign was able to go so long without being noticed because it was particularly focused on policy-based data and, as a result, some of the organizations were not very well-protected."
  • The hackers entered through a phishing attack and used techniques and malware to move around the network that were effective, yet not technologically advanced.
  • The campaign was focused on espionage, not the theft of intellectual property. IP theft is often a hallmark of Chinese hacking.

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.
Updated 28 mins ago - Health

13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming surpassed records from the previous week.

The big picture: The pandemic is getting worse again across the country, and daily coronavirus cases have risen in the U.S. for six straight weeks, according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios. The U.S. reported over 80,000 new cases on both Friday and Saturday.

Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.