Articles about espionage

Chairman Mao exhorting chinese workers to do their utmost for the nation

Oh no, Xi didn't! Chinese spymaster cuffed in Belgium, yoinked to US on aerospace snoop rap

US prosecutors have unsealed charges against a collared Chinese national, accusing him of stealing trade secrets from American aerospace companies. Yanjun Xu, who Uncle Sam says is the deputy director the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS), has been charged with one count each of economic espionage and trade secret theft …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Oct 2018
Free range chicken and farmer photo via Shutterstock

Who needs custom malware? 'Govt-backed' Gallmaker spy crew uses off-the-shelf wares

A newly discovered spy gang is eschewing boutique attack tools to instead use publicly available exploits against unpatched systems. Known as Gallmaker, the cyber-espionage group is said to be targeting the embassies of an unnamed eastern European country and military defense installations in the Middle East. According to …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Oct 2018
Reality Winner

Winner, Winner, prison dinner: Five years in the clink for NSA leaker

A former NSA translator who leaked a classified report into attempted Russian hacking of US voting systems has been sentenced to 63 months behind bars. Reality Winner received the longest sentence ever imposed for the unauthorized release of government information to the media. Her defenders argue she should be hailed as a …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 Aug 2018
Businessman looking confused and doubtful

Tech giants! How do you know Jim in accounting isn't Putin moves on you

BSides London "I would be surprised if all major intel agencies didn't have people embedded in Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and major cloud provers," infosec guru Mikko Hyppönen told a packed audience at BSides conference in London on Wednesday. Hyppönen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, made the comment during a well- …
John Leyden, 6 Jun 2018
NGIA map

Spy satellite scientist sent down for a year for stowing secrets at home

Mohan Nirala, 52, a former employee of the US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, received a prison sentence of 12 months and a day on Friday for storing national defense information in violation of the law. According to the Department of Justice, Nirala, who worked for the NGA from February 2009 until 2015, pled guilty …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Mar 2017

'DNC hackers' used mobile malware to track Ukrainian artillery – researchers

The Russian hacking crew controversially linked to hacks against the Democrat Party during the US election allegedly used Android malware to track Ukrainian artillery units from late 2014 until 2016, according to new research. Threat intelligence firm CrowdStrike reckons that mobile malware was used to harvest communications …
John Leyden, 22 Dec 2016
Fancy Bear Anonymous bear logo

Fancy Bears' who-takes-what in sports hack list ‘manipulated’ before leak

Hackers may have doctored athletes’ data prior to leaking it, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The "Fancy Bear" hacking group has been releasing details of athletes' Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE*) after breaking into the systems of the fair play enforcement agency, as previously reported. WADA, which …
John Leyden, 6 Oct 2016

FBI electronics nerd confesses: I fed spy tech blueprints to China

A veteran FBI geek funneled sensitive information about the Feds to the Chinese government – and now faces years behind bars. Kun Shan "Joey" Chun, 46, sent organizational charts and photographs of spying technology to a handler in the Middle Kingdom, while working as an electronics technician in a New York FBI office. Chun …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Aug 2016
Watson Power7 cluster. Pic: IBM

FBI expands code theft charges against Chinese national

A Chinese national first arrested in December will face expanded charges over stealing source code in a Manhattan court on Thursday. The Justice Department's superseding indictment here says Xu Jiaqiang will appear in court on Thursday June 16 at White Plains. Originally arrested in December 2015 on a single count, Xu is now …

The Fog of Cyberwar: Now theft and sabotage instead of just spying

Infosec 2016 Cyber-conflict between nations has entered a new phase with a switch from espionage to sabotage and theft, according to infosec guru Mikko Hyppönen. The BlackEnergy-related attacks on the electricity grid last December and the more recent attack on at least four international banks have upped the ante in the sphere of cyber- …
John Leyden, 6 Jun 2016
China

Hacker crew hits Uyghur, Tibet campaigns: Who is Scarlet Mimic's backer...

Security researchers have lifted the lid on an apparently Chinese government-sponsored hacking group which has progressed from targeting activists to setting its sights on foreign government organisations gathering intelligence on the same targets. The so-called "Scarlet Mimic" organisation has been active for at least four …
John Leyden, 25 Jan 2016
Ronnie Barker and Tenniel Evans in The Navy Lark

Navy engineer gets 11 years for attempted espionage

A civilian US naval engineer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for attempted espionage, after passing military technology secrets to an FBI undercover agent posing as an Egyptian intelligence officer. The Register can report that 36-year-old Mostafa Ahmed Awwad "took advantage of his position of trust within the Navy to …
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China wants international peace pact online and under water

China has outlined its preferred framework for international rules on internet governance, couching them as a push for peaceful development of the four “new frontiers” of “outer space, cyberspace, deep sea and polar regions.” Wang Qun, China's ambassador to the United Nations (UN) and director-general of the nation's Ministry …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Oct 2015

Arabic-speaking cyberspies targeting BOFHs with crude but effective attacks

An Arabic-speaking cyber-espionage group, active since 2012, has stepped up its attacks over the last six months, according to new research from Kaspersky Lab. The so-called "Gaza cyber-gang" focuses on attacking government entities, especially embassies, and primarily targets information technology and incident response staff …
John Leyden, 30 Sep 2015
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FireEye: The face of hacking is changing – and it's getting uglier

Cyberattacks from Russia have increased because of sanctions related to the Ukraine while assaults from Iran have dropped over recent months, thanks to the recent Iran nuclear deal. David DeWalt, FireEye chief exec, said these changes show how the diplomatic landscape affects what is happening in cyberspace even though the …
John Leyden, 21 Sep 2015

SONY HACK WAS WAR says FBI, and 'we're still struggling to hire talent'

Cloudsec Yesteryear's hack of Sony Pictures was an act of war, stated FBI Supervisory Special Agent Timothy Wallach, who delivered the FBI's gradation system of cybercriminals to net security conference Cloudsec on Thursday, 17 September. US agencies have fingered the North Korean government for the Sony attack repeatedly, initially to …
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China using cyberspies in border disputes with India and neighbours

Cyberspies have been snooping on Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, seeking information on border disputes as well as general diplomatic intelligence. The ongoing APT-style cyber-attack against India and neighbouring nations has been going on since 2011 and is likely to be the work of China, according to net security firm …
John Leyden, 21 Aug 2015

Apple and MS attackers Wild Neutron return with fresh run of attacks

Hackers linked to attacks against Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook in early 2013 are back in business, with a fresh run of ongoing attacks against a more diverse and extensive range of businesses over recent months. The so-called Wild Neutron hacking crew have attacked law firms, Bitcoin-related companies, investment …
John Leyden, 8 Jul 2015

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