According to the Associated Press and Reuters, both of which have published an expose about a cyberespionage campaign that might have its origins in Beijing, hackers turned a telecom giant into a “global spy system.” Cybereason Chief Executive Lior Div said because customers weren’t directly targeted, they might never discover that their every movement was being monitored by a hostile power.
According to ZeroHedge, the AP, which sourced its story from a presentation given by the head of Cybereason, a global cybersecurity contractor brought in by telecoms firms to trace the source of another potentially major breach, a group of possibly state-backed hackers infiltrated the system of an unnamed telecoms giant to spy on a group of unnamed “VIPs” call records, location data and other information. The hack essentially allowed those hackers to track the movements and activities of the targets. And because the hack occurred at the service-provider level, it would be virtually impossible for the 20 or so end-user targets to discover the breach on their own. In essence, the hackers were able to transform the targeted firm into a “global surveillance system.”
“The hackers have turned the affected telecoms into ‘a global surveillance system,’” Div said in a telephone interview. “Those individuals don’t know they were hacked – because they weren’t.” Div, who presented his findings at the Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv, provided scant details about who was targeted in the hack. He said Cybereason had been called in to help an unidentified cellular provider last year and discovered that the hackers had broken into the firm’s billing server, where call records are logged. The hackers were using their access to extract the data of “around 20” customers, Div said.
Cybereason cautioned that even though all signs of who the culprit might be pointed to APT10, the MSS-backed hacker crew that orchestrated China’s ‘Operation Cloud Hopper’, the campaign that reportedly infiltrated eight of the world’s largest enterprise tech companies, they were reluctant to conclusively blame APT10 for the intrusions.
False flag? It looks probable, because these signs could have been manufactured to point to APT10, even though the real culprit could have been another government, or a criminal organization, or maybe even the infamous ‘400-pound basement dweller’ that Donald Trump once joked about.
Who might be behind such hacking campaigns is often a fraught question in a world full of digital false flags. Cybereason said all the signs pointed to APT10 – the nickname often applied to a notorious cyberespionage group that U.S. authorities and digital security experts have tied to the Chinese government.
But Div said the clues they found were so obvious that he and his team sometimes wondered whether they might have been left on purpose.
“I thought: ‘Hey, just a second, maybe it’s somebody who wants to blame APT10,’” he said. -ZeroHedge
This is especially concerning considering just yesterday, The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity released a report showing proof that major mainstream media outlets ask the government’s permission before the release stories. That means that almost every bit of news we get is manipulated by the government and the lapdog corporate media to control our thoughts.
Whoever hired Cybereason would be remiss if they didn’t disclose the intrusion, since failing to alert their investors could be construed as securities fraud. But if the recent past is any guide (remember Equifax?), companies that have been the victim of large-scale hacks are often reluctant to disclose it for fear of the market backlash.
However, if China is behind the hacks (or the U.S. government can make the public believe that China is behind the attacks), that would give the Trump Administration one more reason to hold off on striking a trade deal on the grounds that Beijing simply can’t be trusted to end its sweeping cyber espionage campaign.