The Chinese state-backed hackers have targeted South Korean entities recently and got involved in deploying a U.S. missile-defense system, according to an American cybersecurity firm. Despite the Beijing’s denial of retaliation against the Seoul over the above issue.
In the recent weeks, two cyber espionage groups which the firm linked to the Beijing’s military and the intelligence agencies which have launched a variety of attacks against the South Korea’s military, government, defense companies and also a big conglomerate, John Hultquist the director of cyber espionage analysis at FireEye Inc said in an interview.
This California-based firm counts South Korean agencies as the clients, including one which oversees the internet security, would not name targets.
While the FireEye and other cybersecurity experts say that the Chinese hackers have long targeted the South Korea, they note a growth in the number and also the intensity of attacks in the recent weeks since South Korea said they would deploy Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense( Thaad) aimed at defending South Korea from North Korean missile threat.
China opposes the Thaad, saying that its radar system can reach deep into their own territory and compromise their security. South Korea and the U.S. say that the Thaad is purely defensive. The first components of this system arrived in South Korea in the last month and have been an important issue in the current presidential campaign.
One of the two hacker groups, which the FireEye dubbed as Tonto Team, is tied to China’s military and is based out of northeastern Chinese city of the Shenyang, where the North Korean hackers are known to be active, said Mr Hultquist who is a former senior U.S. intelligence analyst. The FireEye believes the other, known as the APT10 which may be linked to other Chinese military or their intelligence units.