image for illustration purpose only.

This week has been wild for many reasons. From cyber attack to the border disputes of powerful countries. But believe me if you reevaluate all the events, you will find one thing in common. China.

 If you have been following the news throughout the week, you might find that China has been notorious every single day. From cyber attacks executed by Chinese actors to the border dispute escalations, all of these things leads to pattern which we should take under consideration.

Lets follow the timeline to understand:

New Espionage tools by Chinese actors:

This report was broke out by Kaspersky. Securelist, a research group of Kaspersky found out about a Chinese threat actor, who has developed new capabilities to target air gapped systems to infiltrate data mostly. The APT is known as Goblin Panda or cycldek. This attack has been said to be developed for stealing secret data from targeted companies and governments.

Read more:  here

US 2020 Election campaigns targeted reports Google:

Republican’s candidate and current president of USA Donald trump and Democrats Candidate Joe Biden’s campaign for 2020 presidential run was targeted by Iranian and Chinese threat actors. This news was shared by Shane Huntley, who is the current head of Google’s Threat Analysis Group on his Twitter handle. The threat actor APT31 also as zirconium or bronze vinewood was identified participating in this cyber attack. This group is known to conduct network operation on the behest of chinese government

Read more: here

BEML suffered Data breach amid India-China border standoff:

BEML is a multipurpose manufacturing PSU of India. The attacker was identified as a Pakistani actor, and their motive was to warn the Indian Government on their current style of working with their neighboring countries. This attack was done during the India-China Military standoff in ladakh region.

Read more: here

China-Sponsored hackers planned cyber attack on Indian government agencies, Companies.

Indian government agencies, media houses and large companies in India has been warned as they can be the target of a cyber attack by china sponsored hacking group.

The firm Cyfirma has traced the list back to their sources and found links to 2 hacking groups, Gothic Panda and Stone Panda. These are china sponsored hackers group and have direct affiliation to PLA.

The threat actors here are known as APT3 and APT10.

Read more: Here

What can we learn from this timeline?

India, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, USA, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, south Korea, Australia are the countries that are victims of these cyber attacks in recent times. Now If we look at the victim countries that have been targeted and match them with the current scenario’s we can come to this conclusion that the attacks by the cyber attackers were actually politically motivated, which means China is using those cyber criminals as their pawns behind these cyber attacks.

China has border disputes with India in recent times which has escalated to a very dangerous level where China is claiming a part of Indian territory. On the other hand, countries like Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea are facing maritime boundary disputes with China. This dispute is caused by China who is claiming entire south china sea as their area. And in the end,with USA we are already seeing an ongoing trade war with china since many months now. Also there has been allegations on companies like Huawei for spying and stealing company secrets and sending them to China.

  • Who can be affected by these events? What measures can take to safeguard themselves?

If you happen to live/work or both, have businesses in these countries, you can be affected by these attacks anytime in near future. You never know, you or your organisation (Government/private) might have already been affected by it.

To safeguard yourself, your family, your business many precautions are needed to be setup in place. some of them are:

  • Use security software like antiviruses on your devices.
  • Use of strong passwords are recommended.
  • Use firewall for your connected devices to safeguard all of them across network.
  • Do not open mails or messages from unknown or malicious looking senders.
  • Always try to secure your data with multi factor authentication.
  • If you happen to be running business or a government agency, it might be a good time now to be investing in better security solutions for maximum protection.
  • Try to stay away from cracked software’s or websites which offer you paid products for free. Always invest in genuine software.
  • Always rely on the guidance of security experts. After all, its their forte.
  • Try to keep separate environments for home and work on the devices. If possible don’t use same device for both.
  • Backup of important or crucial data is a good deal.
  • Investing in cloud solutions also happens to be a good deal from a security point of view.

In such hard times, where many have to stay at home to work to be safe from the corona virus, you now also have to work hard to protect yourself from another kind of attack, affecting your digital world. And if you happen to be residing in the victim countries mentioned above, then you can try the steps mentioned to defend from such attacks.

By Siddhant Pathak

Cyber security architect, 7+ years experience in cyber security industry, Tech savy, Nature lover, Bullet 350 rider

Have some thoughts? why not share with us here.