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China-Linked Hackers Targeted Commercial Shipping Companies: Report

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 0
May 15, 2024

A China-linked cyber espionage group known as Mustang Panda has allegedly introduced malware to gain remote access to computer systems belonging to commercial shipping companies based in Norway, Greece, and the Netherlands, NBC News has reported.

The new information, comes from the Slovakia-based cybersecurity firm ESET, comes amid warnings from U.K. and U.S. officials about a significant cybersecurity threat emanating from China, particularly to critical infrastructure.

Mustang Panda, previously accused of espionage against governments and organizations in Asia and Europe, has used similar malware tools in past spying campaigns. The tools allow an attacker to gain full access to a device and issue commands upon gaining entry.

This purportedly marks the first instance of a China-linked cyber espionage group focusing on commercial shipping. “We haven’t seen this in the past,” said Robert Lipovsky, the principal threat intelligence researcher at ESET, adding that there was a clear interest in this sector.

However, it remains unclear if the cyber spying effort involved the use of USB devices physically planted at the companies or on ships, according to NBC News. China’s embassy in Washington has strongly denied the accusations, with spokesman Liu Pengyu stating that China is a victim of cyber attacks and stands firmly against all forms of cyber attacks, its report said.

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