Errors and small clues left behind by attackers are vital in attribution, providing valuable intelligence on the people behind a cyber espionage attack and the possible connections between them, Kaspersky Lab's researchers revealed, who have been tracking advanced cyber espionage operations originating in and targeting Asia Pacific countries for the last 10 years.
Kaspersky Lab also published a report on Naikon APT in 2015. This cyber espionage campaign has been tracking geo-political intelligence in countries around the South China Sea for over half a decade, Later that year, an alleged connection discovered by ThreatConnect researchers showed a domain name used in Naikon APT, was also found across several social media accounts. These social media accounts carried more than 700 posts and 500 photos which enabled researchers to track down an official's real location and work address.
Careless mistakes and clues left behind by individuals involved in cyber espionage can reveal details of any military connections, organisations engaged in undercover threat activity for State Security, private companies offering intelligent service, or cyber espionage campaigns that consist of a variety of people with different skilled roles and responsibilities.
"Cyber security researchers examine cyber espionage campaigns by chasing trails of clues and careless mistakes. Once we have all the necessary pieces of the puzzle, we share evidences with fellow experts to be able to know the spies behind an attack, their main objectives and techniques, All the historic information gathered through investigating targeted attacks, helps us discover the truths and the myths of cyberespionage in the Asia Pacific region," said Noushin Shabab, a Senior Security Researcher.
"As cyberespionage and crime increases, it's critical for organisations and experts to share cutting-edge knowledge'. We continue to witness the development of many attacks with no regard for the social or financial impact. The fact is, cyber spies will continue to take advantage of social engineering and open source data to develop sophisticated attacks. Investment in prompt and detailed information will better defend our businesses and ensure we can detect and respond to attacks. Kaspersky Lab's Anti Targeted Attack Platform defends businesses from a multitude of threats every single time, no matter what form the attack takes," added Anastasia Para Rae, General Manager ANZ.