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Vietnamese Hackers Targeted China Officials at Heart of Outbreak

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Vietnamese Hackers Targeted China Officials at Heart of Outbreak


--- Quote ---Vietnamese hackers began targeting Chinese government officials at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak in the early days of 2020, when the threat of pandemic had barely registered elsewhere in the world, according to findings by cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc.

The attacks were going on as early as January 6 and continued through April, said Ben Read, a senior manager for cyber-espionage in the firm’s threat intelligence unit. The campaign of spearphishing and malware fit a pattern the firm ascribed to APT32, a group of hackers working for the Vietnamese government, and the group’s targets were the government of Wuhan and the national ministry of emergency management, he said.

“This group is what Vietnam has for cyber-espionage. It doesn’t have four or five times that -- this is their group,” he said. “So if this is what they’re doing at this time, it’s a priority for them.”

The Vietnamese foreign ministry called the report “baseless.”

“Vietnam prohibits cyber-attacks against organizations and individuals in any form,” deputy spokesperson Ngo Toan Thang said in a statement online.

China’s foreign ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment.
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