The hacker groups targeting Indian businesses have links to the Chinese government. Cyfirma Research, Singapore-based cyber threat intelligence firm has published a report outlining these attacks. The hackers have targeted companies like Reliance Jio, BSNL, Microsoft, Airtel, Sun Pharma, Cipla, MRF and L&T.
According to Cyfirma Research, the motivation behind this attack was to tarnish the reputation of these companies and exfiltrate sensitive information including trade secrets. The sectors targeted for these attacks are classified into telecom, Pharma, media, smartphone manufacturing, tyre, and construction.
The analysis of these attacks suggests that the hackers particularly targeted three central government ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The research firm also added that hacker group associated with these attack has a history of carrying out similar attack sin different countries. According to Cyfirma Research, hacker groups called Gothic Panda and Stone Panda are behind these hacking campaigns. Both groups share a close association with the Chinese government.
Gothic Panda has targeted sectors such as defence, aerospace, telecom, transportation, manufacturing, construction and engineering in the past. Stone Panda is a notorious expert group has always targeted stealing trade secrets from supply chain information.
Some of the common attacks carried out by these two firms include defacing websites using vulnerabilities in their code, spying on data using specialised malware, denial of device attacks, launching phishing campaigns, and impersonating websites of large companies.