In our last post, we stated that a source whose identity we had verified had named an MSS Officer in Jinan who was believed to be involved in Cyber operations. We are now in a position to reveal that the name provided to us is 郭林 (Guo Lin). Open source research conducted by analysts working for Intrusion Truth quickly revealed a potential candidate for Guo Lin.
Guo Lin, Masters Student
An IT security paper from 2007 called ‘基于多维角度的攻击分类方法‘ (Method of Classifying Attacks Based on Multi-dimension) was authored by a Guo Lin in which he described himself as a Masters student conducting research into network and information security and malicious code detection. Guo was a Computer Science student at Nanjing University (not Jinan), making it uncertain whether he is indeed the same individual in Jinan named in our tip.
Continue reading “Who is Mr Guo?”
Readers of this blog will know that our investigations into APT3 and APT10 started with well-known intrusions and ended with the identities of the perpetrators and the identification of a front company connected to the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS).
As we pointed out on Twitter in December, there seems to be a pattern developing – a regional office of the MSS creates a company, hires a team of hackers and attacks Western targets. Why the MSS insists on using sloppy contracted hackers is beyond us here at Intrusion Truth, but the pattern is undeniable.
Continue reading “Is there a pattern?”
On August 15th 2018 this blog revealed a connection between APT10 and the Tianjin bureau of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS). But the story doesn’t stop with that revelation; analysts working with this blog have continued to investigate every lead provided to us. One such lead has helped us to identify another individual in China connected to APT10. The trail starts with a domain name first published in FireEye’s Poison Ivy Report as a MenuPass (APT10) affiliated domain.
Continue reading “Who is Mr An, and was he working for APT10?”
In previous posts, Intrusion Truth showed that the Cloud Hopper / APT10 hackers that attacked thousands of global clients of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in 2016 were based in Tianjin, China.
We identified Zheng Yanbin, Gao Qiang and Zhang Shilong as three actors responsible. We associated them with the Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Co Ltd (天津华盈海泰科技发展有限公司) and Laoying Baichen Instruments Equipment Co Ltd in Tianjin China. But we haven’t yet explained who was masterminding or controlling the attacks.
Continue reading “APT10 was managed by the Tianjin bureau of the Chinese Ministry of State Security”
In the absence of more concrete proof, the 2017 Cloud Hopper report on APT10 relied on timing analysis to make the connection to China. Compile times of executable files and registration times of domains all pointed to work undertaken between 9am and 5pm Beijing time.
If Zheng Yanbin, Gao Qiang and Zhang Shilong were working between 9am and 5pm and managed to orchestrate one of the largest Cyber attacks on western infrastructure of all time, it follows that any company for whom they were working would probably have been involved in the operation.
Continue reading “More on Huaying Haitai and Laoying Baichaun, the companies associated with APT10. Is there a state connection?”
Gao Qiang and Zheng Yanbin weren’t working alone. In this article we identify another member of the group.
fisherxp to baobeilong
Inspection of @fisherxp’s Twitter account shows that he follows 259 people and has 16 followers. One particularly interesting account, @baobeilong, both follows @fisherxp and is followed by it.
Continue reading “Who is Mr Zhang?”
The menuPass Sample
Hidden on Page 24 of the FireEye report referenced in our previous article, is the start of a thread that, if pulled, leads to more APT10 individuals. It is a Poison Ivy sample (b08694e14a9b966d8033b42b58ab727d). The sample connects to a C2 server at js001.3322[.]org. Incidentally, the connection password used by the sample is “xiaoxiaohuli”, Chinese for “littlelittlefox” (小小狐狸), a useful data point that helps to confirm the connection to China.
Continue reading “Who is Mr Gao?”
Our story starts with a FireEye report: Poison Ivy – Assessing Damage and Extracting Intelligence. Although the report focuses on the Poison Ivy tool, which has been used by a number of groups, it specifically highlights a number of campaigns known to use it. One of those campaigns is the menuPass group, another name for APT10.
The report contains a number of e-mail addresses associated with domain names used by the APT10 actors. One of those e-mail addresses, email@example.com, contains a name – Zheng Yanbin.
Continue reading “Who is Mr Zheng?”
Twelve months have passed since this blog exposed Wu Yingzhuo, Dong Hao, their company ‘Boyusec’ and the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) as being behind APT3. APT3 was, at the time, one of the most damaging APT attacks to hit Western companies. One year on, we take a look back at what happened after our publication.
Continue reading “The destruction of APT3”