Mark McGowan, the head of the government branch of Western Australia smartly referred to as ‘Premier’ was targeted in a cyberattack by a Chinese hacking group named Naikon. The attack was devastating and was in the form of MS Word Document meant to access digital data from the victim’s PC and was developed in such a way that the malicious tool copies and sends the data to remote servers without the knowledge of the victim.
Researchers from Check Point say that malicious word document tool was sophisticated enough to not only steal information from the victim’s computer but also lock down the system from access- often seen in the case of a ransomware incident.
Although the Tel-Aviv based Cybersecurity firm doesn’t openly confess that Naikon is directly linked to the People’s Liberation Army, it substantiates its theory by riding on the official statement released by a US Cyber Security firm in 2015 that Naikon is a hackers group being funded by the military intelligence of China.
On learning the facts that his digital assets were targeted by a cyberattack by Beijing, McGowan has ordered an internal inquiry into the matter based on some tip-off given by the New York Times.
Security researchers from Check Point say that the attack was launched through a spear-phishing email that was disguised to have come from a trusted source and was laced with the hacking technology called “Aria-Body”.
The Israel based Cybersecurity company said that Naikon has not only targeted the Australian government but has a history of launching sophisticated phishing attacks on other governments operating in Asia- Pacific which includes Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.