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Chinese Hackers Show Humans Are Weakest Security Link

Some of the biggest companies in the U.S. remain vulnerable to one of the oldest hacking tricks in the book, according to yesterday’s indictment of five Chinese military officials accused of stealing trade secrets.

The common tactic, called spearphishing, was used to access the computer networks of companies including United States Steel Corp. and Alcoa Corp., according to the U.S. Justice Department, which unveiled the charges yesterday. By sending employees false e-mails purporting to be official messages, hackers were able to trick them into divulging user names, passwords and other sensitive information.