Fri, Sep 01, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Chinese cyberspies broaden attacks in Vietnam: firm

Reuters

Cyberspies working for or on behalf of the Chinese government have broadened attacks against official and corporate targets in Vietnam at a time of raised tension over the South China Sea, cybersecurity company FireEye said.

FireEye told reporters the attacks happened in recent weeks and it had traced them to suspected Chinese cyberspies based partly on the fact that a Chinese group it had identified previously had used the same infrastructure before.

“Where China has often focused on the [Vietnamese] government before, this shows they are really hitting the full commercial sector potentially in Vietnam and trying to gather a broad base of information there,” said Ben Read, who heads FireEye’s cyberespionage team.

FireEye said the attacks involved sending users documents in Vietnamese that appeared to be requests for financial information.

When the user opened them, they delivered malware that could infect a computer and send back information to the cyberspies, potentially letting them into computer networks, too.

FireEye linked the attacks to a team it calls Conimes, because in the past it used the conimes.com domain.

The team focuses on Southeast Asia, but its main target is Vietnam and even more so since tensions rose over the South China Sea, Read said.

He was unable to say exactly what data had been gathered.

Read said the attacks it had discovered on Vietnam were relatively unsophisticated and relied on users having pre-2012 versions of Microsoft Word.

“They are using comparatively simple techniques because apparently they work,” he said.

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