Microsoft said Chinese hackers used features within its operating system to gain access to computer networks in Taiwan and Guam.
/ August 30, 2023
Hackers sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) carried out dozens of recent cyberattacks against organizations in Taiwan, according to a report by computer software giant Microsoft.
Recent Chinese hacking activity also was detected inside infrastructure networks on Guam, a major U.S. military hub in the Pacific.
Chinese hackers also gained long-term access to Japanese defense computer networks, according to reports from Asia.
The hackers, using the code name “Flax Typhoon,” relied on features within the Microsoft operating systems to successfully maintain long-term access inside computer networks in Taiwan, the report said.
“Microsoft attributes this campaign to Flax Typhoon…, a nation-state actor based out of China,” according to the online report by Microsoft Threat Intelligence.
The behavior of the hackers, the reports said, “suggests that the threat actor intends to perform espionage and maintain access to organizations across a broad range of industries for as long as possible.”
In the first quarter of 2023, Taiwan experienced more than 3,000 cyberattacks per week, the highest of any nation, according to a report by the cybersecurity firm Check Point Research.
Microsoft identified the hacking group behind the Guam intrusions as “Volt Typhoon.”
“Microsoft assesses with moderate confidence that this Volt Typhoon campaign is pursuing development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications infrastructure between the United States and Asia region during future crises,” the company said in May.
China’s Ministry of State Security is the main civilian agency engaged in cyber espionage.
Taiwan’s intelligence service, the National Security Bureau, said the Chinese military a decade ago shifted its focus from cyberattacks on government institutions to civilian targets.
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