Foreign govt-backed forces hack into Chinese agencies: report

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-5-29 23:01:27

A report released Friday by Chinese Internet company Qihoo 360's SkyEye Labs accused a hacker organization named OceanLotus of stealing government information, claiming it was employed by a hostile foreign government.

The OceanLotus has launched "elaborately organized" online attacks on China's marine agencies, scientific research institutions and shipping companies since April 2012, according to the report.

"It's apparently an APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) action backed by a foreign government," said the report.

The hacking group "use Trojan viruses to attack and control computers of government staff, outsourcing businessmen and experts in various circles in a bid to gain confidential documents and intercept information sent from the victim computers," it said.

SkyEye Labs announced that it had captured more than 100 OceanLotus Trojan program samples of four different types, which had been planted in computers in 29 Chinese provincial regions and 36 countries.

Over 92 percent of victim computers are in China, with Beijing being the hardest hit.

The OceanLotus has registered 35 server domains in at least six countries and it has 19 IP addresses spread over 13 countries.

The SkyEye Labs affirmed it was definitely not a commercial hacking act as this kind of delicate long-term attack needs heavy investment not affordable by ordinary enterprises, and the documents OceanLotus is stealing have limited commercial value.

"Generally, the OceanLotus' attack lasts over three years. Its targets are clear and its technology and methods so accurate and sophisticated, indicating that it must be a highly-organized, professional national hacking organization sponsored by foreign government," the report reiterated.

Chinese military expert Song Zhongping said China is one of the biggest victim of cyber attack and Chinese scientific institutions and colleges are most affected. He said authorities must strengthen education and management for personnel working on classified affairs.

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