Chinese hacking group APT3 is known to explore secrets of its adversaries by digitally invading the IT infrastructure owned by public and private entities across the United States. Now as per a report published by Checkpoint the group is behind capturing the NSA secret weapons not by investing but by cheating.
“The Chinese want to own all the capabilities of US Intelligence when it comes to the world of the cyber landscape. Nevertheless, they want to do it not by investment, but with exploitation”, says Mark Lechtik, Researcher at CheckPoint.
Mark stresses on the fact that China has already laid traps to capture American Cyberweapons and they have been doing it since 2016.
The backdrop of such interesting revelations is the discovery of more complex cyber warfare than before hitting commercial targets to fund their definitive programs.
And as the core of much of this activity is taking place with proxy actors and those sponsored by nations, analysis related to this space rely heavily on assumptions and media speculations.
A report published in the New York Times last month says that NSA exploited Eternal Blue secrets of Microsoft in 2017. But even before that, a hacking group named Shadow Brokers and which keeps an eye on NSA Affiliated Equation Group was able to synchronize the material with its analysis in early 2016.
A Symantec report published in May says that Chinese group APT3 has started sharing its intelligence with hacking teams from Russia and North Korea which can produce serious consequences to nations running in the west shortly.
Checkpoint now confers that the Equation Group Tool captured by APT3 was referred to as EternalRomance which was later dubbed as Eternal Blue by NSA. Meaning, US Intelligence gathered intelligence on the Microsoft exploit only after the Chinese hacking group had hands-on info lifted through a cyber attack from NSA servers.
Security researchers from Checkpoint infer that NSA lifted the exploit of Microsoft and then recreated their version and dubbed it as EternalBlue.
What this means is that China and the US are in the cyber warfare arms race. But the latter seems to invest in knowing the secrets, while the former is busy in seeking alternatives to keep up the pace.