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China's Border Guards Secretly Installing Spyware App on Tourists' Phones

China's Border Guards Secretly Installing Spyware App on Tourists' Phones

July 03, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Chinese authorities are secretly installing surveillance apps on smartphones of foreigners at border crossings in the Xinjiang region who are entering from neighboring Kyrgyzstan, an international investigation revealed. Xinjiang (XUAR) is an autonomous territory and home to many Muslim ethnic minority groups where China is known to be conducting massive surveillance operations, especially on the activities of Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic minority group of about 8 million people. The Chinese government has blamed the Muslim Turkic minority group for Islamic extremism and deadly attacks on Chinese targets. According to a joint investigation by New York Times , the Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and more, the surveillance app has been designed to instantly extract emails, texts, calendar entries, call records, contacts and insecurely uploads them to a local server set-up at the check-point only. This suggests that the spyware app has not been designed to continuously and remotely t
Chinese Hackers tried to Take Down Tibetan Social Networking Website

Chinese Hackers tried to Take Down Tibetan Social Networking Website

January 04, 2016Wang Wei
Tibet is an area in the Republic of China that has been the point of conflict for many years in China. While China believes that Tibet has been under Chinese rule for many centuries, Tibetans claim that they declared itself an independent republic in 1912. Tibetan Groups, especially pro-democracy activists, are being repeatedly targeted by persistent Cyber Attacks by Chinese State-sponsored hackers. Our Sources in Tibetan Community told The Hacker News that they are once again being targeted by Chinese hackers; this time their social network website. Chinese hackers are believed to have targeted a Tibetan only social networking site, unitib.com ( United Tibet ) as Beijing views the platform as a threat promoting free Tibet movement. The Unitib technical team sought assistance from Taiwanese and Indian security experts after they were forced to take the platform offline for few days due to the attack. Tashi, a member of the technical team at Unitib told The Hac
China — OPM Hack was not State-Sponsored; Blames Chinese Criminal Gangs

China — OPM Hack was not State-Sponsored; Blames Chinese Criminal Gangs

December 03, 2015Mohit Kumar
In the most surprising manner, the Chinese government said it arrested criminal hackers behind the massive cyber attack on US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) earlier this year, dismissing its involvement. Three months back, we reported that China arrested a handful of hackers within its borders who were suspected of allegedly stealing commercial secrets from US companies. The arrests took place shortly before China President Xi Jinping visited the United States in September 2015 when both heads of states agreed that neither side will participate in commercial espionage against one another. China: Cyber Criminals Hacked OPM, Not Government Spies Now, those suspected hackers have turned out to be the ones in connection with the OPM hack that resulted in the theft of personal details of more than 21 Million United States federal employees, including 5.6 Million federal employees' fingerprints . Citing an " investigation ", the Chinese governme
Chinese Government Executes MITM Attack against iCloud

Chinese Government Executes MITM Attack against iCloud

October 21, 2014Mohit Kumar
Apple iCloud users in China are not safe from the hackers — believed to be working for Chinese government — who are trying to wiretap Apple customers in the country. Great Fire , a reputed non-profit organization that monitors Internet censorship in China, claimed that the Chinese authorities have launched a nationwide Man in the Middle (MITM) campaign against users of Apple's iCloud service, designed to steal users' login credentials and access private data. MAN-IN-THE-MIDDLE ATTACK The attacks on the iCloud service was first reported on Saturday and come as Apple begins the official rollout of its latest launched iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on the Chinese mainland. If we talk about less publicized but more danger, Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack is the most common one. By attempting MitM attack, a potential attacker could intercept users' internet communication, steal sensitive information and even hijack sessions. ACCESS TO CREDENTIALS AND ALL PERSONAL DATA Usin
Chinese Government Accused of Intercepting Traffic Between Google and CERNET

Chinese Government Accused of Intercepting Traffic Between Google and CERNET

September 08, 2014Mohit Kumar
So far, we all are well aware of the fact that Chinese have had a past filled with cases of Cyber Crime. China is the world's largest exporter of IT goods, but it has been criticized by many countries due to suspected backdoors in its products, including United States which has banned its several major government departments, including NASA, Justice and Commerce Departments, from purchasing Chinese products and computer technology. The new exposure indicates the same. Chinese Government is running a man-in-the-middle (MitM) cyber attack campaign on SSL encrypted traffic between the country's education network and Google. In an effort to monitor its users of China Education and Research Network (CERNET) , Chinese authorities has started intercepting encrypted traffic to and from Google's servers, the non-profit organization GreatFire reported on Thursday. However, just like many other foreign websites, Google is blocked in China. Because Google is one of the vast and v
Xiaomi Phones Secretly Sending Users' Sensitive Data to Chinese Servers

Xiaomi Phones Secretly Sending Users' Sensitive Data to Chinese Servers

August 10, 2014Mohit Kumar
Chinese telecoms equipment suppliers have previously been criticized by some countries due to suspected backdoors in its products, and if United States has banned its several major government departments, including NASA, Justice and Commerce Departments, from purchasing Chinese products and computer technology, then they are not wrong at all. In the latest claim against Chinese smartphone manufacturers is the allegation that the popular Chinese smartphone brand, Xiaomi has been suspected of "secretly" stealing users' information — including SMS messages and photos —from the device without the user's permissions and sending it back to a server in Beijing, despite of turning off the data backup functions, according to Apple Insider . Security Researchers from  F-Secure Antivirus firm  has shown that the Xiaomi phones (RedMi 1S handset) send quite a lot of personal and sensitive data to " api.account.xiaomi.com "  server located in China, including following information
Chinese Hackers Targeted India's Power Grid Amid Geopolitical Tensions

Chinese Hackers Targeted India's Power Grid Amid Geopolitical Tensions

March 01, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Amid heightened  border tensions  between India and China, cybersecurity researchers have revealed a concerted campaign against India's critical infrastructure, including the nation's power grid, from Chinese state-sponsored groups. The attacks, which coincided with the standoff between the two nations in May 2020, targeted a total of 12 organizations, 10 of which are in the power generation and transmission sector. "10 distinct Indian power sector organizations, including four of the five Regional Load Despatch Centres (RLDC) responsible for operation of the power grid through balancing electricity supply and demand, have been identified as targets in a concerted campaign against India's critical infrastructure," Recorded Future  said  in a report published yesterday. "Other targets identified included 2 Indian seaports." Chief among the victims include a power plant run by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited and New Delhi-based Power
Chinese APT Hackers Target Southeast Asian Government Institutions

Chinese APT Hackers Target Southeast Asian Government Institutions

November 17, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
Cybersecurity researchers today unveiled a complex and targeted espionage attack on potential government sector victims in South East Asia that they believe was carried out by a sophisticated Chinese APT group at least since 2018. "The attack has a complex and complete arsenal of droppers, backdoors and other tools involving Chinoxy backdoor, PcShare RAT and FunnyDream backdoor binaries, with forensic artefacts pointing towards a sophisticated Chinese actor," Bitdefender said in a new analysis shared with The Hacker News. It's worth noting that the  FunnyDream  campaign has been previously linked to high-profile government entities in Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines, with a majority of victims located in Vietnam. According to the researchers, not only around 200 machines exhibited attack indicators associated with the campaign, evidence points to the fact the threat actor may have compromised  domain controllers  on the victim's network, allowing them to mo
Chinese Hackers Compromise Telecom Servers to Spy on SMS Messages

Chinese Hackers Compromise Telecom Servers to Spy on SMS Messages

October 31, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A group of Chinese hackers carrying out political espionage for Beijing has been found targeting telecommunications companies with a new piece of malware designed to spy on text messages sent or received by highly targeted individuals. Dubbed " MessageTap ," the backdoor malware is a 64-bit ELF data miner that has recently been discovered installed on a Linux-based Short Message Service Center (SMSC) server of an unnamed telecommunications company. According to a recent report published by FireEye's Mandiant firm, MessageTap has been created and used by APT41 , a prolific Chinese hacking group that carries out state-sponsored espionage operations and has also been found involved in financially motivated attacks. In mobile telephone networks, SMSC servers act as a middle-man service responsible for handling the SMS operations by routing messages between senders and recipients. Since SMSes are not designed to be encrypted, neither on transmitting nor on the telec
US Indicts Two Chinese Government Hackers Over Global Hacking Campaign

US Indicts Two Chinese Government Hackers Over Global Hacking Campaign

December 20, 2018Mohit Kumar
The US Department of Justice on Thursday charged two Chinese hackers associated with the Chinese government for hacking numerous companies and government agencies in a dozen countries. The Chinese nationals, Zhu Hua (known online as Afwar, CVNX, Alayos and Godkiller) and Zhang Shilong (known online as Baobeilong, Zhang Jianguo and Atreexp), are believed to be members of a state-sponsored hacking group known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 ( APT 10 ) or Cloudhopper that has been working from over a decade to steal business and technology secrets from companies and government agencies around the world. According to the indictment , the alleged hackers targeted more than 45 companies and government agencies from 2006 to 2018 and stole "hundreds of gigabytes" of sensitive data and personal information from its targets. Both Hua and Shilong worked for Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company and are alleged to have committed these crimes at the directio
Chinese Man Jailed For Selling VPNs that Bypass Great Firewall

Chinese Man Jailed For Selling VPNs that Bypass Great Firewall

September 05, 2017Wang Wei
Image source: goldenfrog In an effort to continue its crackdown on VPNs, Chinese authorities have arrested a 26-year-old man for selling VPN software on the Internet. China's Supreme Court has sentenced Deng Jiewei from Dongguan in Guangdong province, close to Hong Kong, to nine months in prison for selling virtual private network (VPN) software through his own small independent website. VPN encrypts users' Internet traffic and routes it through a distant connection so that web surfers can hide their identities and location data while accessing websites that are usually restricted or censored by any country. Chinese citizens usually make use of VPNs to bypass the Great Firewall of China , also known as the Golden Shield project, which employs a variety of tricks to censor the Internet in the country. The project already blocked access to some 171 out of the world's 1,000 top websites, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and The Pirate Bay in
Facebook Covertly Launches A Photo-Sharing App In China

Facebook Covertly Launches A Photo-Sharing App In China

August 14, 2017Wang Wei
The Chinese market is no doubt a pot of gold for big technology giants with over 700 million internet users, but the Chinese government heavily controls the Internet within its borders through its Golden Shield project – the Great Firewall of China . The Great Firewall has blocked some 171 out of the world's leading websites, including Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Dropbox, and The Pirate Bay in the country. But tech giants like Facebook and Google always try alternative ways to infiltrate the market. Now it seems like Facebook is trying to secretly enter the largest populous market by releasing an all new social networking app in China that does not carry its brand. Dubbed Colorful Balloons , the photo-sharing app appears to mimic the look and feel of Facebook's Moments, an app that allows its users to share photos with their friends and family members. According to The New York Times, Facebook approved the release of Colorful Balloons back in M
Apple removes VPN Apps from the China App Store

Apple removes VPN Apps from the China App Store

July 29, 2017Wang Wei
In order to comply with Chinese censorship law , Apple has started removing all virtual private network (VPN) apps from the App Store in China, making it harder for internet users to bypass its Great Firewall. VPN service providers that provide services in China has accused the United States tech giant of complying with Chinese stringent cyberspace regulations. In a blog post , the developers of ExpressVPN reported that Apple informed them that their VPN app had been pulled from the company's Chinese App Store, and it seems all major VPN clients have received the same notice from Apple. China has strict Internet censorship laws through the Great Firewall of China – the country's Golden Shield project that employs a variety of tricks to censor Internet and block access to major foreign websites in the country. The Great Firewall is already blocking some 171 out of the world's 1,000 top websites, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Tumblr, and The Pirate
China Finally Admits It Has Army of Hackers

China Finally Admits It Has Army of Hackers

March 20, 2015Mohit Kumar
China finally admits it has special cyber warfare units — and a lot of them. From years China has been suspected by U.S. and many other countries for carrying out several high-profile cyber attacks, but every time the country strongly denied the claims. However, for the first time the country has admitted that it does have cyber warfare divisions – several of them, in fact. In the latest updated edition of a PLA publication called The Science of Military Strategy , China finally broke its silence and openly talked about its digital spying and network attack capabilities and clearly stated that it has specialized units devoted to wage war on computer networks. An expert on Chinese military strategy at the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis, Joe McReynolds told TDB that this is the first time when China has explicit acknowledged that it has secretive cyber-warfare units, on both the military as well as civilian-government sides. CHINESE CYBER WARFARE UNI
Built-In Backdoor Found in Popular Chinese Android Smartphones

Built-In Backdoor Found in Popular Chinese Android Smartphones

December 18, 2014Swati Khandelwal
Chinese smartphone manufacturers have been criticized many times for suspected backdoors in its products, the popular Chinese smartphone brands, Xiaomi and Star N9500 smartphones are the top examples. Now, the China's third-largest mobile and world's sixth-largest phone manufacturer 'Coolpad' , has joined the list. Millions of Android smartphones sold by Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad Group Ltd. may contain an extensive "backdoor" from its manufacturer that is being able to track users, push unwanted pop-up advertisements and install unauthorized apps onto users' phones without their knowledge, alleged a U.S. security firm. OVER 10 MILLION USERS AT RISK Researchers from Silicon Valley online security firm Palo Alto Networks discovered the backdoor, dubbed " CoolReaper ," pre-installed on two dozens of Coolpad Android handset models, including high-end devices, sold exclusively in China and Taiwan. The backdoor can let attacke
NSA Hacked Servers of Chinese telecom Huawei, Stole Source Codes

NSA Hacked Servers of Chinese telecom Huawei, Stole Source Codes

March 23, 2014Wang Wei
The US Government was publicly accusing Chinese electronics manufacturer Huawei of espionage from the past few years. Ironically, it has now been revealed that the  National Security Agency conducted a major offensive cyber operations against the  Chinese government and networking company Huawei,  in early 2009. According to reports based on classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden   and viewed by The Times and Der Spiegel , NSA has infiltrated servers in the headquarters of Chinese telecommunications and hacked into the email servers of Huawei five years ago. Code-named as " Operation Shotgiant " was conducted with the involvement of the CIA, White House intelligence coordinator and the FBI; aimed to find a link between  Huawei  and China's People's Liberation Army. NSA accessed the emails of many Huawei employees' for this purpose. NSA STOLE SOURCE CODES NSA also aimed to conduct surveillance through computer and telephone networks Huawei sold
Occupy Obama’s Google+ ,Chinese Internet Users Flood G+ Page

Occupy Obama's Google+ ,Chinese Internet Users Flood G+ Page

February 27, 2012Mohit Kumar
Occupy Obama's Google+ ,Chinese Internet Users Flood G+ Page Many Chinese have taken up a call to " Occupy Obama's Google+ " over the weekend in the style of Occupy Wall Street in order to feel "close" to the popular world leader as well as air some of their views. Hundreds of Chinese have flooded US President Barack Obama's Google+ page, apparently taking advantage of a glitch in China's censorship system to post about human rights and green cards. At first glance, it looks like the official Google+ page is being spammed, but taking a look at some of the comments left in English, you'll realise that it's Chinese citizens who have taken to the social network to decry their government's appalling human rights track record. Some netizens urged Obama to help free activists such as blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who is currently under house arrest, or Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner. Some comments left by the Chinese called for free speech and human rights. Other
Chinese Government taking strong step against Cyber Crime

Chinese Government taking strong step against Cyber Crime

January 01, 2012Mohit Kumar
Chinese Government taking strong step against Cyber Crime The Chinese government is working with domestic Internet search engines like Baidu Inc and Sohu.com and financial institutions to prevent phishing attacks on unsuspecting Chinese web users. The Chinese government has announced that it will work together with 10 Chinese search engines. The user IDs, passwords and email addresses of more than 6 million accounts registered on CSDN, a site for programmers were leaked as we reported last week . The popular social-networking site Tianya was also hit by hackers last week. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday it would investigate the hacking incidents. In the U.S. data theft and hacking have become very common over the last few years. Recently, hacker group Anonymous hacked into the servers of security firm Stratfor and stole credit card and other personal details on thousands of users of the site and its services. The U.S. isn't alone in fighti
Russian Federal Agencies Were Attacked With Chinese Webdav-O Virus

Russian Federal Agencies Were Attacked With Chinese Webdav-O Virus

August 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
An amalgam of multiple state-sponsored threat groups from China may have been behind a string of targeted attacks against Russian federal executive authorities in 2020. The latest research, published by Singapore-headquartered company Group-IB, delves into a piece of computer virus called " Webdav-O " that was detected in the intrusions, with the cybersecurity firm observing similarities between the tool and that of popular Trojan called " BlueTraveller ," that's known to be connected to a Chinese threat group called TaskMasters and deployed in malicious activities with the aim of espionage and plundering confidential documents. "Chinese APTs are one of the most numerous and aggressive hacker communities," researchers Anastasia Tikhonova and Dmitry Kupin  said . "Hackers mostly target state agencies, industrial facilities, military contractors, and research institutes. The main objective is espionage: attackers gain access to confidential data
CISA: Chinese Hackers Exploiting Unpatched Devices to Target U.S. Agencies

CISA: Chinese Hackers Exploiting Unpatched Devices to Target U.S. Agencies

September 15, 2020Ravie Lakshmanan
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a new advisory on Monday about a wave of cyberattacks carried by Chinese nation-state actors targeting US government agencies and private entities. "CISA has observed Chinese [Ministry of State Security]-affiliated cyber threat actors operating from the People's Republic of China using commercially available information sources and open-source exploitation tools to target US Government agency networks," the cybersecurity agency said. Over the past 12 months, the victims were identified through sources such as Shodan , the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure ( CVE ) database, and the National Vulnerabilities Database (NVD), exploiting the public release of a vulnerability to pick vulnerable targets and further their motives. By compromising legitimate websites and leveraging spear-phishing emails with malicious links pointing to attacker-owned sites in order to gain initial access, the Chinese
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