Feeds

Chinese hackers targeted G20 in Syria-themed attack

FireEye spills the beans on 'Ke3chang' group

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A Chinese hacking group managed to penetrate the networks of five European Union member states in advance of last year’s G20 Summit in a likely bid to lift data on the Syrian crisis, according to FireEye.

The security firm told Reuters it monitored the classic targeted attack campaign for around a week in late August 2012, ahead of a summit dominated by the escalating civil war in Syria.

During that time spear phishing emails with malicious file attachments with titles such as "US_military_options_in_Syria” successfully breached the systems of five unnamed foreign ministries, it said.

Unfortunately the hackers jumped to another C&C server shortly before the September summit, losing their tail, but FireEye said it believed they were just about to begin exfiltrating data.

The group, nicknamed “Ke3chang”, has apparently been around for several years although this represents its official public outing. It’s suspected it may have previously targeted the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Paris in 2011.

FireEye researcher Nart Villeneuve told the newswire that pretty compelling evidence links the group to China, including the language used on the C&C server and the type of machines the group employs to test its malware.

However, as always, there are no hard links back to the Chinese government, which maintains it is a victim and not a perpetrator of cyber crime – even post-Mandiant’s APT1 revelations.

What the US, and the info-security community, really needs is a whistleblower behind the Great Firewall to even things up a bit. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.