Security expert: Hackers may have caused Nortel’s collapse

Security experts now believe the collapse of equipment manufacturer Nortel Networks may have been caused by a decade-long security breach by hackers from Shanghai, which led to the large scale theft of intellectual property.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that hackers had created a “reliable back door” into the company’s systems, which gave them almost complete access to Nortel’s internal emails, research reports, business plans, technical designs, and other confidential documents.

Nortel Networks filed for bankruptcy in 2009, a decade after the company’s systems were first compromised and five years after the attacks were first detected.

Richard Bejtlich, the chief security officer at security firm Mandiant, believes that a major domestic or international rival having access to Nortel’s confidential information for a whole decade was a major contributing factor in their collapse.

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