Security researchers have unearthed a massive global cyber attack which was targeting several defense and chemical research companies.
According to researchers at security software maker Symantec, hackers had targeted 29 companies that are into chemical manufacturing and research and development, and another 19 companies that are related to defence and other key industries, The Register reports.
The attacks, which started from the middle of July, involved hackers exploiting back door trojans, like the dreaded Poison Ivy trojan.
Symantec, which named the cyber espionage attacks Nitro, claimed that trojans were used to steal information from several Fortune 100 companies that are into chemical research and manufacturing.
"These attacks are primarily targeting private industry in search of key intellectual property for competitive advantage, military institutions, and governmental organizations often in search of documents related to current political events and human rights organizations," the Symantec report read.
"This attack campaign focused on the chemical sector with the goal of obtaining sensitive documents such as proprietary designs, formulas, and manufacturing processes," it continued.
The researchers found a large number of infected computer systems, that were being used by the hackers were located in the United States, United Kingdom and Bangladesh. Argentina, China and Singapore were in the list of other countries in which the hackers had infected computer systems.