Alphabet’s Security Start-Up Wants To Offer History Lessons

Chronicle, a security start-up owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, plans on sharing what it learned from a cyberattack against Google nearly ten years ago. The hack was conducted by the Chinese military and was “one of the most starting cyberattacks on an American company by government-affiliated agents,” reports The New York Times. The lessons it learned from that incident will be brought to other companies through a widely anticipated new product called Backstory. From the report: The idea, company executives said, is simple: Backstory will make Alphabet’s vast storage, indexing and search abilities available to other companies, allowing them to search through giant volumes of data, going years back, to trace the back story of a malicious attack. Chronicle is hardly the only company doing this. Dozens of companies promise so-called big data threat intelligence and storage. But many of their customers can’t afford to pay to search through huge amounts of information. Chronicle will charge customers by their number of employees.

The hack on Google, called Operation Aurora, was historic for an unusual reason: It was the first time a Chinese government hacking victim confronted its attacker. Inside the company, Sergey Brin, one of Google’s co-founders, made it his personal mission to make sure something like Aurora never happened again. Google, known for its motto “Don’t Be Evil,” had a new motto about its cybersecurity: “Never again.” Google poached cyberexperts from the National Security Agency and Silicon Valley. It built a threat analysis group on a par with those at the top intelligence agencies and designed a new security infrastructure. It also created a new team, called Google Project Zero, to hunt for critical security flaws in technology outside Google. Chronicle was founded by Mike Wiacek, who started Google’s threat analysis group after studying threats at the N.S.A., and Stephen Gillett, the former chief information officer at Starbucks and chief operating officer at Symantec.

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