Chinese hackers are waging a wide-ranging cyber espionage campaign against satellite operators, telecommunication companies and defense contractors in the U.S. and Southeast Asia, a cybersecurity company said Tuesday.
The firm Symantec said it first noticed the campaign in January, although it has been monitoring the hacking group it dubbed “Thrip” since 2013. This year, Symantec detected “powerful malware” in Asia that it believes the hackers deployed to carry out spying operations and potentially destructive attacks
Thrip’s interest in targeting a satellite communications operator indicates it is interested in more than just stealing data, according to Symantec.
“The attack group seemed to be particularly interested in the operational side of the company, looking for and infecting computers running software that monitors and controls satellites,” Symantec said in a blog post. “This suggests to us that Thrip’s motives go beyond spying and may also include disruption.”