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China-Based Cyber Espionage Campaign Targets Satellite, Telecom, Defense Firms

Threat group Thrip is using three computers based in China to steal data from targeted companies in Southeast Asia and the US, Symantec says.

An advanced persistent threat group that is believed to be operating out of China is conducting a wide-ranging cyber espionage campaign targeting satellite, telecommunications, and defense organizations mostly in Southeast Asia and the United States.

Security vendor Symantec, which uncovered the campaign, says what's most worrying about the activity of the so-called Thrip group is its apparent interest in the operational networks of some of its victims. That suggests the attack group's motives may extend beyond spying to actual service disruption as well, the security vendor says.

Symantec has been tracking Thrip since 2013 and believes the latest campaign began sometime in 2017. The security vendor stumbled upon the activity when it observed someone using Microsoft's PsExec tool to move laterally on the network of a large telecom operator in Southeast Asia. Symantec's investigation of the activity led to the discovery of a malicious tool previously associated with Thrip called Rikamanu being used in the attack. Symantec subsequently discovered three computers based in China being used in the Thrip attacks.

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Read more: Dark Reading

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