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Security companies question severity of 'RAT' attack

MSNBC.com, By Suzanne Choney

Whether it's spite, semantics or something lacking in the research, some of McAfee's competitors are challenging the company's findings about "Operation Shady RAT," the worldwide series of cyber attacks disclosed by McAfee earlier this week that could be the biggest series of cyber attacks to date.

Both Symantec, maker of Norton Anti-Virus, and Kaspersky Lab, another security software maker, are questioning McAfee's report, which says Operation Shady RAT targeted 72 organizations including the United Nations, governments and companies around the world. The United States was the main focus of the attacks, which were aimed at stealing intellectual property, such as ideas, strategies and plans, rather than financial data, McAfee said.

"While this attack is indeed significant, it is one of many similar attacks taking place daily," wrote Hon Lau of Symantec, in a piece called "The Truth Behind the Shady RAT" on the company's blog.

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