All the following countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are officially blaming China for the cyberattacks that are the opera of the threat group known as APT10.
The APT10 group has been active since at least 2006 and it has hacked a significant number of organizations in an effort to obtain intellectual property and business and technological information. The threat actor has also been known as Stone Panda, MenuPass, POTASSIUM, CVNX, and Red Apollo.
At first, the US Department of Justice arrested the Chinese nationals Zhu Hua and Zhang Shilong for the conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
All the accusations are based on their involvement in APT10 group, that for the past decade affected companies from a wide range of sectors.
The arrested cybercriminals are the employees of a Chinese company called Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company from Tianjin city. Also, both are associated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s Tianjin State Security Bureau.
This time, APT10’s cyber attacks were done against managed services providers (MSPs) around the world, and tens of tech companies and government agencies in more than a dozen US states.
APT10 targeted MSPs due to the fact that these types of companies typically have remote access to their customers’ infrastructure.
The victims of this operation were a global financial institution, three companies involved in commercial or industrial manufacturing, three telecommunications, and consumer electronics firms, a healthcare company, an automotive supplier, a drilling company, a biotechnology company, and two consulting companies. Even more worrying is the fact that two of them, presumably, are HPE and IBM.
Remember everything can be hacked. In order to stay away from any threats related to the cyber world, we recommend the install of antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac on every device that you own, depending on which OS your device is running. If you are a company, it is also recommended to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network. These tests include penetration testing and ethical hacking tests;
The arrested individuals, Zhu and Zhang, among other things, are said to have registered malicious domains and infrastructure for APT10. Zhang also developed and tested malware for the group, and Zhu, who works as a penetration tester, engaged in hacking operations and recruited new members.
The Japanese government has also issued a statement because several APT10 campaigns have targeted Japan.
Also, UK is saying that besides China, North Korea is to blame for the WannaCry, the attacks on the universities from Iran and for NotPetya. Russia too is blamed here for WADA and Bad Rabbit cyber attacks.
Australia’s Cyber Security Center issued advice for MSPs and their customers on how to limit exposure and protect information; they also pointed to G20 commitments and called China to blame.
Next Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CES) said it is almost certain that the hackers are associated with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of State Security (MSS) and are responsible for the compromise of several Managed Service Providers (MSP).
New Zealand first encountered APT10 in early 2017. The country’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) have linked the Chinese MSS and APT10.
As a consequence all Five Eyes nations recently banned products from Chinese-owned telecommunications giant Huawei, citing security concerns, but the company has denied any accusations based on the lack of evidence.
Keep in mind that our modern society is dependent on computers, mobile devices, and the use of the internet always stay safe and secured.
We would continue to monitor the cybersecurity world. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for any cyber attacks. Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running, If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.
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Most of the companies don't care about cybersecurity until they suffer a breach.
A healthy company must perform a penetration test from time to time. The penetration test must execute against all the assets of the company, including the workers who are the most vulnerable to the social engineering attacks.
A penetration test can be done either by a security specialist from inside of the company or by hiring an external cyber security company who can take care of everything.
Besides penetration test, a company must have a minimum healthy cybersecurity system installed like antivirus or firewall.
CyberByte company can perform various penetration tests on all the spectrum of PCI/DSS compliance to the red team, perimeter testing, and social engineering.
We also provide services to employee profiling and cyber threat monitoring, since most of the data breaches this day come from the inside of the company.
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