Cambodian government entities were discovered to be targeted and compromised by Chinese APT actors.
The threat actors are using the infrastructure to masquerade as a cloud backup service. The infrastructure also exhibits several malicious nature and persistent connections.
China has recently invested in a project to modernize Cambodia’s Ream Naval base, which was initially stopped by both countries. This created a controversy among the Western Nations.
Chinese APT Mimics Cloud Backup
A malicious SSL certificate was found to be used by six facing IP addresses, each of which had several host domains linked with six domains.
On further analyzing the names of the domains, they were found to be masquerading as cloud storage services.
Since these domains provide a sense of legitimacy to their names, they draw an unusual amount of traffic during high levels of activities like data exfiltration from the victim network.
Nearly 24 Cambodian government organizations were found to be regularly communicating with this infrastructure between September and October 2023.
StorageGuard scans, detects, and fixes security misconfigurations and vulnerabilities across hundreds of storage and backup devices.
These organizations provide critical services, which include National Defense, Election oversight, Human rights, National treasury and finance, Commerce, Politics, Natural resources, and Telecommunications.
Golden Week in China
Further investigating the infrastructure, the threat actor was found to be doing their activities between 8:30 and 17:30 UTC +08:00 (China Standard Time) on Weekdays (Mon to Fri). There is also a suspicion that the threat actor is trying to blend in with Cambodian business hours.
However, the threat actor’s activity between September 29 and October 8, 2023, confirmed that the threat actor is based out of China.
China’s Golden Week starts on September 29 and ends on October 6, 2023, whereas Oct 7 and 8 are designated as “Special Working Days”. These days were aligned with low amounts of activity through the week of Oct. 2-8 from the threat actor confirmed the suspicion.
A complete report about the threat actors’ activities has been published, providing detailed information about the compromise, Cambodian government entities, and other information.
Indicators of Compromise
Infrastructure IP Addresses
SSL Certificate SHA-1 Fingerprint
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