Menu
China seen targeting banks, military in Forbes Web attack

China seen targeting banks, military in Forbes Web attack

Flash and Internet Explorer vulnerabilities were used in targeted attack, say security companies

A Chinese hacking group infiltrated the Forbes.com site in November and used it to launch targeted attacks against website visitors from US. banking and defense companies, according to a cybersecurity company.

The attack took place over a period of several days, starting Nov. 28, and took advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, according to ISight Partners. The vulnerability was kept quiet until Tuesday, when Microsoft issued a patch to plug the security hole in its web browser. Adobe had previously published a patch for Flash.

The attack used a Flash vulnerability and was launched from the "Thought of the day" Flash widget that appears when people first visit the financial magazine's site, said Invincea, a second cybersecurity company that independently detected the attack.

ISight said the attack has the fingerprints of a Chinese hacking group known by security researchers as either Codoso or Sunshop Group. It said technical indicators in the malware as well as use of the same undisclosed vulnerabilities as used in other hacks by Chinese groups led to this conclusion.

Among ISight's evidence: some of the malware code was written in simplified Chinese, used in mainland China, and it bore a resemblance to the "Derusbi" malware that is unique to Chinese hackers. The command system for the malware relied on an Internet domain previously used in Chinese hacks and pointed to web pages that had been used in Chinese attacks in the past.

The group has been active since at least 2010 and targets companies in the defense, finance and energy industries, governments, political dissidents and think tanks, said ISight.

The company said previous hacks by the group have included an attack on the website of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee in 2010, a spear-phishing attack against government users in 2011 and an attack on websites related to the Uyghur minority in China in 2013.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags malwareintrusionpatchesiSight PartnersInvincia

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the annual Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months.

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019
Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosted its second annual alumnae breakfast for the Women in ICT Awards in New Zealand, designed to showcase the leading female leaders in the industry. Held at The Cordis in Auckland, attendees came together to hear inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, alongside high-level networking among peers. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards
Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 480 technology leaders in Auckland on 23 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, emerging entrants and innovative start-ups.

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners
Show Comments