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Author Topic: State backed Vietnam hackers indistinguishable from Chinese in tactics  (Read 91 times)

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https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-links-vietnamese-state-hackers-to-crypto-mining-malware-campaign/

Vietnamese government-backed hackers have been recently spotted deploying cryptocurrency-mining malware alongside their regular cyber-espionage toolkits, Microsoft said on Monday.

The report highlights a growing trend in the cyber-security industry where an increasing number of state-backed hacking groups are also dipping their toes into regular cybercrime operations, making it harder to distinguish financially-motivated crime from intelligence gathering operations.

APT32 JOINS THE MONERO-MINING LANDSCAPE
Tracked by Microsoft as Bismuth, this Vietnamese group has been active since 2012 and is more widely known under codenames like APT32 and OceanLotus.

For most of its lifetime, the group has spent it orchestrating complex hacking operations, both abroad and inside Vietnam, with the purpose of gathering information to help its government deal with political, economic, and foreign policy decisions.

But in a report published late Monday night, Microsoft says it has recently observed a change in the group's tactics over the summer.

"In campaigns from July to August 2020, the group deployed Monero coin miners in attacks that targeted both the private sector and government institutions in France and Vietnam," Microsoft said.

It is unclear why the group made this change, but Microsoft has two theories.

The first is that the group is using the crypto-mining malware, usually associated with cybercrime operations, to disguise some of its attacks from incident responders and trick them into believing their attacks are low-priority random intrusions.

The second is that the group is experimenting with new ways of generating revenue from systems they infected part of their regular cyber-espionage-focused operations.

OTHER STATE-SPONSORED GROUPS ALSO HACKING FOR PERSONAL GAINS
This last theory also fits into a general trend seen in the cyber-security industry, where, in recent years, Chinese, Russian, Iranian, and North Korean state-sponsored hacking groups have also attacked targets for the sole purpose of generating money for personal gains, rather than cyber-espionage.

The reasons for the attacks are simple, and they have to do with impunity. These groups often operate under the direct protection of their local governments, either as contractors or intelligence agents, and they also operate from within countries that don't have extradition treaties with the US, allowing them to carry out any attack they want and know they stand to face almost none of the consequences.

With Vietnam also lacking an extradition treaty with the US, Bismuth's expansion into cybercrime is considered a given for a country that's expected to be "on the edge" to become a future cybercrime hub and a major cyber-espionage player in the next decade.

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Re: State backed Vietnam hackers indistinguishable from Chinese comrades
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2020, 05:45:13 AM »
This group of VN hackers also recently launched an attack on Mac Ios users last week.   The director of operations is so corrupt that he would rather become a pirate than an intelligence officer.   I bet he has access to all of Pornhub´s premium contents.

Vietnam is still dirt poor and has this capability.  They are already on par with the Chinese in cybercrime capability and will expand their operations to be a force to reckon with in 5 to 10 years.  Think North Koreans and nukes.  Vietnamese people are clearly very intelligent but under corrupt regimes they used their energy for stealing bitcoins instead of exploring the possibility of space colonization for commercial profits.  Or in the short term at last copy the Chinese and invest in quantum computing for life saving applications in proteomics.  Crime pays short term but not for the long term.   

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Re: State backed Vietnam hackers indistinguishable from Chinese in tactics
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2020, 06:36:15 AM »
That’s why vn will be ever third world. Use their skills for petty theft.

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Re: State backed Vietnam hackers indistinguishable from Chinese in tactics
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2020, 10:03:37 AM »
The Indian and Nigerian scam callers are too obvious.  But imagine hearing Vietnamese in the background one of these days?  It´s gonna happen eventually. Or my credit card registered a KFC transaction from Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh?

That’s why vn will be ever third world. Use their skills for petty theft.

 
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