A hacking group with suspected links to the Vietnamese government has infiltrated the network of global car manufacturers and attempted to take over IPs.
Quoting security firm Crowdstrike, Bloomberg News reported on 22nd that a Vietnamese hacking group known as “APT32” has increased its cyber espionage activities sharply in the past two years. The APT32 is also famous as the Ocean Lotus or Ocean Buffalo.
Its key target is the global auto industry. APT32 attempted to infiltrate the network by opening domains disguised as Toyota and Hyundai.
Earlier in March, Toyota found that it had received attempted attacks in Vietnam and Thailand. The attacks happened through its affiliate Toyota Tokyo Sales Holdings. It concluded that the attack APT31 committed the attack. Regarding the latest APT32 attack, Hyundai said it responded immediately after detecting it as a security event.
APT32 hacking group, its record and possible involvement with the Vietnamese government
APT32 spy activities related to the economy and industry peaked last year after starting to increase sharply in 2012, according to Crowdstrike. The Vietnamese hacking group has evolved elaborately. Mimicking the methods used by Chinese hacking organizations to leak confidential information to industries.
Vietnam is also a country that is expanding its cyber capabilities after Russia and China. Cyber intelligence carried out by APT32 covers not only the removal of intellectual property rights to improve Vietnamese products. But also activities to gain competitive advantage in negotiations. Foreign government agencies, journalists and dissidents are also among the targets of the attack.
Recently, it was also found that individuals involved in Vietnamese politics were targeted through Facebook. When a user sends a Facebook message or link to a Facebook page to a target user and clicks a screen that looks like a photo album, malware automatically on the device.
Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry and the embassy in Washington, Washington, declined to comment on the issue.