State-Sponsored Chinese Hacking Group Targeting Crypto Firms: Report

Daniel Kuhn
Aug 8, 2019 at 01:30 UTC
Updated Aug 8, 2019 at 17:03 UTC
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A Chinese espionage operator is attacking crypto firms during state-sponsored campaigns, according to a FireEye Threat Intelligence report published August 2.

The intelligence company “assesses with high confidence” that APT41, a hacking collective, has moved on from financially motivated attacks of video game companies to working alongside the Chinese government. The report was first uncovered by CoinTelegraph.

Reportedly, the hacker group “targets industries in a manner generally aligned with China’s Five-Year economic development plans.”

In addition to targeted attacks of healthcare, telecoms, fintech, and film and media companies, evidence suggest APT41 has infiltrated and phished a number of firms operating in the crypto industry.

In June 2018, APT41 sent spear-phishing emails that prompted targets to join a cryptocurrency-denominated decentralized gaming platform to game studios.

The same month, a crypto exchange was targeted by the same email address, reportedly operated by one Tom Giardino.

Furthermore, in at least one instance, the hacking group deployed malicious code that uploads a monero mining bot on a target’s computer, in what is developing into a common form of cyber extortion.

Hacker photo via Shutterstock

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