China is at it again…
This week, it was revealed that a Chinese hacker group was contracted by the government to spy on the G20 talks held this year in Russia. Although the source paper lacked specifics on the exact targets of the attack, it is believed the Chinese government was attempting to listen in on the summits to gain insider information on a possible US intervention into Syria.
The hackers behind the mission used standard email/malware techniques to gain access to the foreign officials computers. The intrusion, discovered by researchers at the security firm FireEye, was carried out by a group known only as “Ke3chang”, based on the name of a file picked up from one of the 23 servers currently being monitored by FireEye for illicit activity.
Normally the group, in operation since 2010, targets big business conglomerates in sectors such as aerospace, manufacturing, and energy. However, this time around, they seemed to have been contracted by the Chinese Revolutionary Party to tap into the phones, computers, and mobile devices of the dignitaries while they attended the conference and discusses the increasingly dire situation unfolding inside of Syria’s crumbling borders.
In their latest attack “they appeared to be specifically targeting foreign ministries”, Mr Villeneuve told the BBC.
“The hackers were based in China but it is difficult to determine from a technology point of view how or if it is connected to a nation state,” he added.
China and the West have been at odds in the realm of cyber-warfare over the past several years, so it’s no wonder why they might have wanted to gain access to the information in the way they did. In total, 9 computers and tablets were compromised in the attack, although the exact members of the summit who were compromised still have yet to be named.
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