Feeds

Malware linked to Chinese hackers aims at Japanese government

Spear-phishing threat from same locale as Google attacks

Website security in corporate America

Malware researchers at Seculert say they've found two more cases of highly targeted malware coming out of China, and claim to have back-traced it to the same geographical region that was fingered as the source of the Project Aurora attacks.

"It's using a similar MO – infected PDFs sent out as part of a spear-phishing campaign," Aviv Raff, CTO of Seculert, told The Register. "We resolved it and found it was reporting to an IP address in China with the same physical location as the previous attacks. They are up to something."

One of the malware samples was found to communicate with Japanese government websites, seemingly from a location in Korea. However, on Tuesdays between 8am and 7pm (local time) the malware would contact the IP address 123.234.29.35, which is found in Jinan, the capital of the Shandong province of China.

Once the malware got in contact with the new server it would attempt to download a new payload. Raff said this malware exploited a recently patched Java flaw and arrived in the form of an email with an attachment.

Jinan has long been fingered as a source of the spear-phishing attacks that were aimed at Google and other businesses as part of the attacks dubbed Project Aurora. Google was so put out by the attacks that it pulled out of the Chinese mainland and relocated to Hong Kong.

Chinese hacking backtrace

Do all roads lead to China?

In the interests of fairness, it should be pointed out that Jinan is a big place, with lots of universities full of mischievous young pranksters who might enjoy hacking Chain's traditional enemy. But the area was also identified as the location of hacking squads apparently linked to the People's Liberation Army in last month's Mandiant report into the New York Times attack.

"The ISP killed this time bomb by blocking the malware from reaching its target server, but based on the evidence from this we're going to be taking a much more in-depth study of this kind of targeted malware from China," Ruff said. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.