State-run APT groups linked to China, N. Korea spotted: Report

Ontario, Oct 24 (IANS) New espionage campaigns conducted by state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups connected to China, Iran, North Korea and Vietnam have been spotted, and two other unidentified threat actors have been found targeting Pakistan’s government and military, according to a new report by Canadian company BlackBerry.

According to BlackBerry’s new mobile malware report named “Mobile Malware and APT Espionage: Prolific, Pervasive, and Cross-Platform”, mobile malware use by state-sponsored APT groups far exceeds what was previously estimated as a more limited attack vector.

“This research demonstrates that mobile attacks are much more pervasive of a threat than previously estimated,” Eric Cornelius, Chief Technology Officer at BlackBerry Cylance, said in a statement.

The report also examined how APT groups have been leveraging mobile malware along with traditional desktop malware in ongoing surveillance and espionage campaigns.

“It should come as a surprise to many to learn how coordinated and long-standing the campaigns targeting mobile users have been, as they have been easy targets for APT groups because of a historical deficit in effective security solutions for detecting and preventing mobile malware,” Cornelius added.

As mobile devices grow in type and adoption, they provide a quick means to access sensitive data from select targets.

“Both organisations and consumers should be very concerned about what this means for not only their information, but also the safety and security of the countries in which they reside,” said Brian Robison, Chief Evangelist at BlackBerry Cylance.

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