China-linked hackers target Norwegian commercial vessel

A China-linked hacking and espionage group called Mustang Panda have allegedly introduced malware in the last five months, which aims at targeting commercial shipping companies based in Norway, Greece and the Netherlands . The malware makes it possible to gain remote access to computer systems.

The information was published by the Slovakia-based cybersecurity firm ESET and the threat was assessed amidst warnings from both UK and US officials, who have stated that cybersecurity threats from China are significant. The threats are particularly aimed at critical infrastructure.

It is the first time, that evidence of attacking commercial shipping has been leaked. According to a researcher at ESET, Robert Lipovsky, the attacks show clear interest in this sector, as the attacks were aimed at unrelated organizations and it wasn’t a one-time occurance.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington told NBC, that they strongly deny the allegations and that China does not condone or support cyber attacks. Instead they stated, that China is a major victim of cyber attacks.

The espionage group Mustang Panda have previously been accused on espionage against governments and organizations in both Europe and Asia. The “remote access trojan” type of malware, which they use, allows them to gain full access to the device and issue commands. The access can be gained after breaking in through an email, a malicious website, vulnerable software or an unprotected machine.

Source: NBC News

About Charlotte Nike Albrechtsen

Charlotte Nike Albrechtsen is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

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