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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Chinese Hackers

New Ransomware Spreading Rapidly in China Infected Over 100,000 PCs

New Ransomware Spreading Rapidly in China Infected Over 100,000 PCs

December 04, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A new piece of ransomware is spreading rapidly across China that has already infected more than 100,000 computers in the last four days as a result of a supply-chain attack... and the number of infected users is continuously increasing every hour. What's Interesting? Unlike almost every ransomware malware, the new virus doesn't demand ransom payments in Bitcoin. Instead, the attacker is asking victims to pay 110 yuan (nearly USD 16) in ransom through WeChat Pay—the payment feature offered by China's most popular messaging app. Ransomware + Password Stealer — Unlike WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware outbreaks that caused worldwide chaos last year, the new Chinese ransomware has been targeting only Chinese users. It also includes an additional ability to steal users' account passwords for Alipay, NetEase 163 email service, Baidu Cloud Disk, Jingdong (JD.com), Taobao, Tmall , AliWangWang, and QQ websites. A Supply Chain Attack — According to Chinese cybers
Chinese Spying Chips Found Hidden On Servers Used By US Companies

Chinese Spying Chips Found Hidden On Servers Used By US Companies

October 04, 2018Mohit Kumar
A media report today revealed details of a significant supply chain attack which appears to be one of the largest corporate espionage and hardware hacking programs from a nation-state. According to a lengthy report published today by Bloomberg, a tiny surveillance chip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, has been found hidden in the servers used by nearly 30 American companies, including Apple and Amazon. The malicious chips, which were not part of the original server motherboards designed by the U.S-based company Super Micro, had been inserted during the manufacturing process in China. The report, based on a 3-year-long top-secret investigation in the United States, claims that the Chinese government-affiliated groups managed to infiltrate the supply chain to install tiny surveillance chips to motherboards which ended up in servers deployed by U.S. military, U.S. intelligence agencies, and many U.S. companies like Apple and Amazon. "Apple made its discovery of suspi
No.1 Adware Removal Tool On Apple App Store Caught Spying On Mac Users

No.1 Adware Removal Tool On Apple App Store Caught Spying On Mac Users

September 07, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A highly popular top-tier app in Apple's Mac App Store that's designed to protect its users from adware and malware threats has been, ironically, found surreptitiously stealing their browsing history without their consent, and sending it to a server in China. What's more concerning? Even after Apple was warned a month ago, the company did not take any action against the app. The app in question is "Adware Doctor," the Mac App Store No. 1 paid utility and also ranked as the fourth most popular paid app on the store, which sells for $4.99 and markets itself to be the "best app" to prevent "malware and malicious files from infecting your Mac." However, a security researcher with the @privacyis1st Twitter handle detected Adware Doctor's suspicious spyware-like behavior almost a month ago and also uploaded a proof-of-concept video demonstration of how the user's browser history is exfiltrated. The researcher informed Apple about
Chinese Hackers Carried Out Country-Level Watering Hole Attack

Chinese Hackers Carried Out Country-Level Watering Hole Attack

June 14, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered an espionage campaign that has targeted a national data center of an unnamed central Asian country in order to conduct watering hole attacks. The campaign is believed to be active covertly since fall 2017 but was spotted in March by security researchers from Kaspersky Labs, who have attributed these attacks to a Chinese-speaking threat actor group called LuckyMouse . LuckyMouse, also known as Iron Tiger, EmissaryPanda, APT 27 and Threat Group-3390, is the same group of Chinese hackers who was found targeting Asian countries with Bitcoin mining malware early this year. The group has been active since at least 2010 and was behind many previous attack campaigns resulting in the theft of massive amounts of data from the directors and managers of US-based defense contractors. This time the group chose a national data center as its target from an unnamed country in Central Asia in an attempt to gain "access to a wide range of government
Leaked NSA Dump Also Contains Tools Agency Used to Track Other Hackers

Leaked NSA Dump Also Contains Tools Agency Used to Track Other Hackers

March 07, 2018Swati Khandelwal
A years ago when the mysterious hacking group ' The Shadow Brokers ' dumped a massive trove of sensitive data stolen from the US intelligence agency NSA, everyone started looking for secret hacking tools and zero-day exploits . A group of Hungarian security researchers from CrySyS Lab and Ukatemi has now revealed that the NSA dump doesn't just contain zero-day exploits used to take control of targeted systems , but also include a collection of scripts and scanning tools the agency uses to track operations of hackers from other countries. According to a report published today by the Intercept, NSA's specialized team known as Territorial Dispute (TeDi) developed some scripts and scanning tools that help the agency to detect other nation-state hackers on the targeted machines it infects. NSA hackers used these tools to scan targeted systems for 'indicators of compromise' (IoC) in order to protect its own operations from getting exposed, as well as to fin
Cyber Espionage Group Targets Asian Countries With Bitcoin Mining Malware

Cyber Espionage Group Targets Asian Countries With Bitcoin Mining Malware

February 07, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have discovered a custom-built piece of malware that's wreaking havoc in Asia for past several months and is capable of performing nasty tasks, like password stealing, bitcoin mining, and providing hackers complete remote access to compromised systems. Dubbed Operation PZChao , the attack campaign discovered by the security researchers at Bitdefender have been targeting organizations in the government, technology, education, and telecommunications sectors in Asia and the United States. Researchers believe nature, infrastructure, and payloads, including variants of the Gh0stRAT trojan, used in the PZChao attacks are reminiscent of the notorious Chinese hacker group— Iron Tiger . However, this campaign has evolved its payloads to drop trojan, conduct cyber espionage and mine Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The PZChao campaign is attacking targets across Asia and the U.S. by using similar attack tactics as of Iron Tiger, which, according to the researchers, si
U.S. Charges Three Chinese Hackers for Hacking Siemens, Trimble & Moody

U.S. Charges Three Chinese Hackers for Hacking Siemens, Trimble & Moody

November 28, 2017Wang Wei
The United States Justice Department has charged three Chinese nationals for allegedly hacking Moody's Analytics economist, German electronics manufacturer Siemens, and GPS maker Trimble, and stealing gigabytes of sensitive data and trade secrets. According to an indictment unsealed Monday in federal court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the three men worked for a Chinese cybersecurity company, Guangzhou Bo Yu Information Technology Company Limited ( Boyusec ), previously linked to China's Ministry of State Security. Earlier this year, security researchers also linked Boyusec to one of the active Chinese government-sponsored espionage groups, called Advanced Persistent Threat 3 (or APT3 ), which is also known as Gothic Panda, UPS Team, Buckeye, and TG-0110. In 2013, APT3 allegedly stole the blueprints for ASIO's new Canberra building using a piece of malware that was uploaded to an ASIO employee's laptop. According to the indictment, the three Chinese nationals
Built-in Keylogger Found in MantisTek GK2 Keyboards—Sends Data to China

Built-in Keylogger Found in MantisTek GK2 Keyboards—Sends Data to China

November 07, 2017Swati Khandelwal
"The right keyboard can make all the difference between a victory and a defeat in a video game battlefield." If you are a gamer, you can relate to the above quote. But what if your winning weapon betrays you? The popular 104-key Mantistek GK2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that costs around €49.66 has allegedly been caught silently recording everything you type on your keyboard and sending them to a server maintained by the Alibaba Group. This built-in keylogger in Mantistek GK2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard was noticed by a few owners who headed on to an online forum to share this issue. According to Tom's Hardware , MantisTek keyboards utilise 'Cloud Driver' software, maybe for collecting analytic information, but has been caught sending sensitive information to servers tied to Alibaba. After analysing more closely, Tom's Hardware team found that Mantistek keyboard does not include a full-fledged keylogger. Instead, it captures how many times a key
FBI Arrests Another Hacker Who Visited United States to Attend a Conference

FBI Arrests Another Hacker Who Visited United States to Attend a Conference

August 25, 2017Unknown
The FBI has arrested a Chinese citizen for allegedly distributing malware used in the 2015 massive OPM breach that resulted in the theft of personal details of more than 25 Million U.S. federal employees, including 5.6 Million federal officials' fingerprints . Yu Pingan , identified by the agency as the pseudonym "GoldSun," was arrested at Los Angeles international airport on Wednesday when he was arrived in the United States to attend a conference, CNN reported . The 36-year-old Chinese national is said to face charges in connection with the Sakula malware , which was not only used to breach the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) but also breached Anthem health insurance firm in 2015. The Anthem breach resulted in the theft of personal medical records of around 80 million current and former customers of the company. Sakula is a sophisticated remote access Trojan (RAT) that was known to be developed by Deep Panda , a China-based advanced persistent threa
Over 500 Android Apps On Google Play Store Found Spying On 100 Million Users

Over 500 Android Apps On Google Play Store Found Spying On 100 Million Users

August 23, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Over 500 different Android apps that have been downloaded more than 100 million times from the official Google Play Store found to be infected with a malicious ad library that secretly distributes spyware to users and can perform dangerous operations. Since 90 per cent of Android apps is free to download from Google Play Store, advertising is a key revenue source for app developers. For this, they integrate Android SDK Ads library in their apps, which usually does not affect an app's core functionality. But security researchers at mobile security firm Lookout have discovered a software development kit (SDK), dubbed Igexin, that has been found delivering spyware on Android devices. Developed by a Chinese company to offer targeted advertising services to app developers, the rogue 'Igexin' advertising software was spotted in more than 500 apps on Google's official marketplace, most of which included: Games targeted at teens with as many as 100 million download
Linguistic Analysis Suggests WannaCry Hackers Could be From Southern China

Linguistic Analysis Suggests WannaCry Hackers Could be From Southern China

May 29, 2017Wang Wei
It's been almost four weeks since the outcry of WannaCry ransomware , but the hackers behind the self-spread ransomware threat have not been identified yet. However, two weeks ago researchers at Google, Kaspersky Lab, Intezer and Symantec linked WannaCry to 'Lazarus Group,' a state-sponsored hacking group believed to work for the North Korean government. Now, new research from dark web intelligence firm Flashpoint indicates the perpetrators may be Chinese, based on its own linguistic analysis. Flashpoint researchers Jon Condra and John Costello analyzed each of WannaCry's localized ransom notes, which is available in 28 languages, for content, accuracy, and style, and discovered that all the notes, except English and Chinese versions (Simplified and Traditional), had been translated via Google Translate. According to the research, Chinese and English versions of the ransomware notes were most likely written by a human. On further analysis, researchers discovered that
Three Chinese Hackers Fined $9 Million for Stealing Trade Secrets

Three Chinese Hackers Fined $9 Million for Stealing Trade Secrets

May 11, 2017Wang Wei
Hackers won't be spared. Three Chinese hackers have been ordered to pay $8.8 million (£6.8 million) after hacking email servers of two major New York-based law firms to steal corporate merger plans in December 2016 and used them to trade stocks. The U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan sued 26-year-old Iat Hong, 30-year-old Bo Zheng, and 50-year-old Hung Chin, over a multi-million dollar insider trading scam. According to BBC News , the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged the three hackers targeted 7 different law firms, but managed to installed malware on networks belonging to two law firms only, then compromised their IT admin accounts that gave the trio access to every email account at the firms. Access to the email and web servers allowed them to gain information on planned business mergers and/or acquisitions. The trio then used this information to buy company stock before the deal, and then sell it after the public announcement of the merger
U.S. Trade Group Hacked by Chinese Hackers ahead of Trump-Xi Trade Summit

U.S. Trade Group Hacked by Chinese Hackers ahead of Trump-Xi Trade Summit

April 06, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Researchers have uncovered a Chinese cyber-espionage against the United States ahead of the trade summit on Thursday between US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping. According to a new report published today by Fidelis Cybersecurity firm, the Chinese APT10 hacking group implanted a piece of malware on the "Events" page of the US National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) website in February. Dubbed ' Operation TradeSecret ,' the attack against the NFTC site is seen as an attempt to conduct surveillance on the main industry players and lobbyists closely associated with U.S trade policy activities. Researchers say hackers placed a malicious link on the NFTC website, inviting the organization's board of directors to register for a meeting in Washington DC on March 7. But clicking on the link deployed a spying tool called " Scanbox ." Dates back to 2014, Scanbox – previously used by nation-state threat actors associated with the
Hackers Using Fake Cellphone Towers to Spread Android Banking Trojan

Hackers Using Fake Cellphone Towers to Spread Android Banking Trojan

March 22, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Chinese Hackers have taken Smishing attack to the next level, using rogue cell phone towers to distribute Android banking malware via spoofed SMS messages. SMiShing — phishing attacks sent via SMS — is a type of attack wherein fraudsters use number spoofing attack to send convincing bogus messages to trick mobile users into downloading a malware app onto their smartphones or lures victims into giving up sensitive information. Security researchers at Check Point Software Technologies have uncovered that Chinese hackers are using fake base transceiver stations (BTS towers) to distribute " Swearing Trojan ," an Android banking malware that once appeared neutralized after its authors were arrested in a police raid. This is the first ever reported real-world case in which criminals played smart in such a way that they used BTS — a piece of equipment usually installed on cellular telephone towers — to spread malware. The phishing SMS, which masquerades itself as the on
Google Pixel Phone and Microsoft Edge Hacked at PwnFest 2016

Google Pixel Phone and Microsoft Edge Hacked at PwnFest 2016

November 11, 2016Wang Wei
The brand new Android smartphone launched by Google just a few months back has been hacked by Chinese hackers just in less than a minute. Yes, the Google's latest Pixel smartphone has been hacked by a team white-hat hackers from Qihoo 360, besides at the 2016 PwnFest hacking competition in Seoul. The Qihoo 360 team demonstrated a proof-of-concept exploit that used a zero-day vulnerability in order to achieve remote code execution (RCE) on the target smartphone. The exploit then launched the Google Play Store on the Pixel smartphone before opening Google Chrome and displaying a web page that read "Pwned By 360 Alpha Team," the Reg media reports . Qihoo 360 won $120,000 cash prize for hacking the Pixel. Google will now work to patch the vulnerability. Besides the Google Pixel, Microsoft Edge running under Windows 10 was also hacked in PwnFest hacking competition. The Qihoo 360 team also hacked Adobe Flash with a combination of a decade-old, use-after-free
FBI 'Double Agent' Pleads Guilty to Selling 'Classified Information' to China

FBI 'Double Agent' Pleads Guilty to Selling 'Classified Information' to China

August 02, 2016Wang Wei
An FBI electronics technician has pleaded guilty to acting as a Chinese secret agent and passing along sensitive information about the Feds to a Chinese government official. Kun Shan "Joey" Chun , 46, admitted in federal court in Manhattan on Monday that he violated his security clearance on several occasions between 2011 and 2016 in an effort to pass on secret information to China in exchange for money. Chun is a 19-year FBI veteran from Brooklyn who was born in China but was employed by the FBI in 1997. His duties with the FBI included " accessing sensitive and, in some instance, classified information ." The g-man, as a double agent, sent confidential government information – including the identity and travel plans of an FBI special agent, the internal structure of the FBI and spying technology used by the Bureau – to a Chinese official. Chun, who was initially arrested in March, got a top secret security clearance in 1998, at the time he did not reveal h
US charges Chinese ex-IBM employee with Espionage

US charges Chinese ex-IBM employee with Espionage

June 15, 2016Wang Wei
The United States federal authorities have boosted charges against a former IBM Corp. software developer in China for allegedly stealing valuable source code from his former employer in the US. Chinese national Xu Jiaqiang, 30, was arrested by the FBI in December last year, when he was charged with just one count of theft of a trade secret. However, Jiaqiang has been charged with six counts: three counts of economic espionage and three counts of theft of a trade secret, as US prosecutors accused him of selling the stolen information to other companies, according to the Justice Department indictment [ PDF ]. The proprietary source code, which Jiaqiang was intended to sell for the benefit of the Chinese government, has been described as "a product of decades of work." Jiaqiang worked as a software developer for an unnamed American company that developed networking software from November 2010 to May 2014. In May 2014, Jiaqiang resigned the company only to sell the c
Microsoft built a special version of Windows 10 just for Chinese Government

Microsoft built a special version of Windows 10 just for Chinese Government

March 29, 2016Unknown
China is very strict about censorship, which makes it difficult for companies to launch their products in the country. But companies like Microsoft are playing smartly to target the largest market in the world. Microsoft has found a way to enter into the banned Chinese Market, but this time with official support for Chinese Government through a new custom and exclusive Windows 10 version for China. It sounds like Microsoft has no issues like Apple, which strongly refused the court order to create a special 'GovtOS' version to help the Feds with unlocking iPhone. Microsoft's CEO for the Greater China region Ralph Haupter has confirmed that the company has built a Chinese government-approved version of Windows 10 OS that includes " more management and security controls " and less bloatware ( pre-installed apps ). Specialized Windows 10 'Zhuangongban' for China In a joint venture with a state-run technology and defense company, CETC ( China Electronic Technology Gr
Chinese ISPs Caught Injecting Ads and Malware into Web Pages

Chinese ISPs Caught Injecting Ads and Malware into Web Pages

February 27, 2016Unknown
China has gained a considerable global attention when it comes to their Internet policies in the past years; whether it's introducing its own search engine dubbed " Baidu ," Great Firewall of China , its homebrew China Operating System (COP) and many more. Along with the developments, China has long been criticized for suspected backdoors in its products: Xiaomi and Star N9500 smartphones are top examples. Now, Chinese Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have been caught red-handed for injecting Advertisements as well as Malware through their network traffic. Three Israeli researchers uncovered that the major Chinese-based ISPs named China Telecom and China Unicom , two of Asia's largest network operators, have been engaged in an illegal practice of content injection in network traffic. Chinese ISPs had set up many proxy servers to pollute the client's network traffic not only with insignificant advertisements but also malware links, in s
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