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Iron Tiger Campaign Stolen ‘Terabytes’ of Data in APAC and US

17/09/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Security researchers have discovered another advanced China-based targeted attack campaign which shifted its focus from APAC targets in 2013 to steal up to terabytes of data from hi-tech US government contractors.

“Emissary Panda” or “Threat Group-3390 (TG-3390)” launched its Iron Tiger campaign in 2010, spying on political targets and government agencies in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Tibet, according to Trend Micro.

“The actors have stolen emails, full Active Directory dumps, intellectual property, strategic planning documents, and budget- or finance-related content—all of which can be used to sabotage target governments’ or private organizations’ plans.”

The huge geographical shift to US government contractors in aerospace, energy, intelligence, nuclear engineering, and telecoms indicates that Iron Tiger “is part of a bigger campaign where specific targets are assigned to various teams,” the report claimed.

The actors involved are said to be China based for several reasons.

The VPN servers they used were mainly located in China; file names and passwords, as well as some text resources and language IDs used in malware, were in simplified Chinese; several domains were found to be located in China; and other resources used including QQ, Lofter, and are used mainly in the Middle Kingdom.

Although the hackers are said to be “skilled computer security experts” they’ve not needed to pull out the full repertoire of advanced techniques as target networks were poorly protected, Trend Micro claimed.

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