The US trade group’s website is attacked by Chinese hackers

The NFTC website was attacked by a hacker group from China just before the US-China Business Summit.

According to Fidelis Cybersecurity, a Chinese hacker group attacked with malicious software aimed at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) website from Feb 27 to March 1, But was discovered a few days ago. This campaign was named “Operation TradeSecret,” focusing on attacks on key member accounts, including CEOs of tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Visa, eBay, Cisco…

According to researcher John Bambenek of Fidelis, the hacker group tried to attack the site with a Scanbox. This is a spy tool that contains keylogging, which can record keyboard operations without running software from disk, instead via JavaScript executable in the browser. This tool can also determine the version of the application.

“The Scanbox after hacking into the computer, through the usual phishing scams, will directly retrieve information that other people are doing on the browser that the victim did not know”, Bambenek said.

The attack failed, no data was leaked. However, the incident prompted security experts to worry about the same security risks going on in the future. According to Reuters, the NFTC has now worked with Fidelis and the FBI to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, hackers carrying out the attack are believed to be related to China, more specifically Stone Panda or APT10. According to IBTimes, this is a group of hackers closely related to the Chinese state, spotted by British spy agencies GCHQ and BAE Systems, and triggered several attacks in Britain. The group is also suspected of following a host of other shady activities aimed at companies in 15 countries around the world.

While President Donald Trump is meeting with President Xi, the attack on a government organization raises concerns about the direction of their discussions. “Such cases of cyber espionage could significantly affect the content of trade talks between the United States and China”, Hardik Modi, vice president of potential threat research at Fidelis warned.

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