Area 1 Security Discovers Phishing Attack

(Redwood City, CA)  For the most part, phishing attacks are disguised as being from a trustworthy entity.  The previously noted, is in the form of an electronic communication.  The objective, is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information.  Recently, Area 1 Security revealed that, it has discovered an ongoing cyber security campaign.  The objective, appears to be, to gain access to the diplomatic correspondence network of the European Union.  Fascinatingly, the operator of the cyber security campaign, is the Government of the Country of China. 

            China has been the source, or origin, of cyber security campaigns for many years; according to Area 1 Security.  In fact, it is believed that China is a catalyst; according to other national security, and, cyber security experts.  Adding more fuel to the problem, cyber security experts believe that China, is behind cyber based economic espionage.  The latter, is believed to be the hacking of businesses, to be able to, achieve commercial gain.  Oren Falkowitz is the C.E.O. of Area 1 Security.  Through a press statement, Mr. Falkowitz said the following.  “Cyber campaigns continue to be the essential tool for waging war, influencing global trade, theft of intellectual property and financial assets, espionage and other geopolitical effects with minimal resources or repercussions.”  The previously said, was in reference to the tension between the U.S.A., and, China.  This is due to the fact that, allegations and disputes over hacking are once again, rising up.  Cyber security is also a reference to, the protection of computer systems from theft, or, damage.  The latter is to the hardware, software, electronic data, disruption attempts and misdirection attempts of computer systems; specifically.

            Blake Darche is the Chief Security Officer at Area 1 Security.  Through a press statement, Mr. Darche said the following.  “1).  Phishing remains the dominant method through which cyber actors gain access into computer networks 9 out of 10 times.  2).  Cyber attacks are more assembly line than individual snowflakes.  Very little about this or any other cyberattack is cutting edge computer science.  3).  Cyber actors continually use their imagination to find the weakest links in the digital chain, as we show here in attacking the MFA of Cyprus to gain access to the entire European Union diplomatic communications network.”  Blake Darche also said.  “Our report is not the first to expose a specific cyber campaign, nor will it have a direct impact on deterring the actors responsible.  But it does show three consistent facts about cyber campaigns that make them unremarkable.”

            The discovery of the ongoing cyber security campaign that; is being discussed started with active sensors, and, an Area 1 Security research team.  The aforementioned team started by, observing technical artifacts, which belonged to intergovernmental organizations.  The concept or term, intergovernmental organizations, also includes the following.  Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Finance, trade unions and think tanks are other types of intergovernmental organizations.  For the phishing attack perpetrated by China; the team was monitoring the Country of Cyprus, and also, Cyprus’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The phishing attack breached and gained access to a communications network, which is used by the European Union.  The aforementioned communications network, is used to facilitate cooperation on urgent foreign policy matters.  Additionally; it operates between the 28 EU member countries, The Council, the EEAS and The Commission.  This network is known by the acronym, COREU.  Area 1 Security does speculate that, China’s ongoing cyber security campaign is part of something much bigger.  For example, Area 1 Security has connected the previously mentioned activities to the Strategic Support Force (S.S.F.) of the People’s Liberation Army (P.L.A.).  Furthermore; the United Nations, and, the U.S.A.’s A.F.L.-C.I.O. are also considered to be targets or objectives. 

            To end, Oren Falkowitz concluded his press statement by saying.  “Our mission is to eliminate phishing. Through the course of our normal business we often discover the origins and outcomes of cyber campaigns.  The cybersecurity doom narrative has become so embellished that we have lost the nerve to take action.  Cybersecurity needs an optimistic all-out assault on the problem, that starts by seeing cyber attacks for what they are, routine assembly line operations, neither extraordinary or insurmountable to defeat.”  As previously stated; Area 1 Security has revealed that, it has discovered an ongoing cyber security campaign.  The objective of the cyber security campaign appears to be, to gain access to the diplomatic correspondence network of the European Union.  Lastly, the operator of the cyber security campaign was revealed to be, the Government of the Country of China.



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