Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 08 May 2020 10:01

Check Point claims China group targeting Australia, others in Asia Featured

Check Point claims China group targeting Australia, others in Asia Image by Cimberley from Pixabay

Israel-based security firm Check Point claims a Chinese state-backed group known as Naikon has been targeting countries in Asia and the Pacific, including Australia, for the last five years and stepping up its activities in 2019 and the first quarter of this year to gather intelligence and spy on these countries.

In a detailed blog post, Check Point researchers said Naikon's method of operation was to first infect a government institution, and then used the contacts it found there to infect others. A new backdoor named Aria-body was used to take control of victims' networks.

This backdoor is spread through infected Microsoft Word documents.

Naikon's infrastructure and one of its members were exposed by ThreatConnect and Defense Group in 2015. Thereafter, there was no report of activity by the group.

Check Point said comparisons with previous reports had led to the conclusion that Naikon had been using Aria-body against governments in Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and Brunei.

Within these countries, Naikon targeted the ministries of foreign affairs and science and technology plus public-sector companies, expanding its foothold by using one infected site as a staging post.

"In one case, a foreign embassy unknowingly sent malware-infected documents to the government of its host country, showing how the hackers are exploiting trusted, known contacts and using those them to infiltrate new organisations and extend their espionage network," Check Point claimed.

Another characteristic of Naikon was to use compromised servers as command-and-control centres to collect, relay and route stolen information.

The first infection observed by Check Point was through an email sent from a government embassy in the APAC region to an Australia state government, with the subject being The Indians Way.doc. This file was in the RTF format and contained an exploit builder known as RoyalRoad.

Another method of infection by Naikon included the use of archive files that carried a legitimate executable file and a malicious DLL which took advantage of executables like Outlook and Avast Proxy to load the malicious file.

And a third method was by directly sending an executable file which was used as a loader.

Naikon used GoDaddy as a hosting service for its C2 servers and Alibaba for hosting the infrastructure, Check Point claimed.

Previous investigations by Russian company Kaspersky were used to identify Naikon, Check Point said.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.


WEBINAR PROMOTION ON ITWIRE: It's all about webinars

These days our customers Advertising & Marketing campaigns are mainly focussed on webinars.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 2 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial.

This coupled with the new capabilities 5G brings opens up huge opportunities for both network operators and enterprise organisations.

We have a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you.


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News