Latest in Gear

Image credit: Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center

Chinese 'hackers' try to attack state governments by mailing CDs

It probably didn't work very well.
633 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

How do you infiltrate US government computers when security experts are increasingly aware of your hacking campaigns? Send old-fashioned mail, apparently. The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center has warned officials of a China-based campaign that mails CDs loaded with malware. State institutions have received China-postmarked envelopes containing both discs with virus-laden Word documents as well as nonsensical letters. While it's not clear what the exact intent was, it looks as if the 'hackers' hoped to make their campaign seem more plausible by sending something physical.

The recipients aren't what you'd call prime targets. State-level archives, historical societies and one Department of Cultural Affairs have all received CDs. The Analysis Center didn't say whether or not anyone had inserted the discs. That doesn't seem very likely, mind you. If the postmarks and strange letters weren't enough to deter curious officials, the unlabeled discs were. And that's assuming they could load the discs in the first place -- there's no guarantee that a government PC will have an optical drive, let alone one that can handle a mini CD. Why not include USB drives instead?

There aren't clues as to the specific culprits. However, there is a history of Chinese hackers targeting organizations for exploratory purposes rather than stealing data or making a profit. This may be more about understanding state governments (if just to prepare for future attacks) than anything else.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
633 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The best mobile devices for students

The best mobile devices for students

View
'Fortnite' finally nerfs the hated B.R.U.T.E. mechs

'Fortnite' finally nerfs the hated B.R.U.T.E. mechs

View
Porsche streamlines the Taycan EV’s infotainment system

Porsche streamlines the Taycan EV’s infotainment system

View
Lenovo’s Smart Clock becomes a more capable home hub

Lenovo’s Smart Clock becomes a more capable home hub

View
Wirecutter's best deals: Save $60 on an Acer Chromebook 11

Wirecutter's best deals: Save $60 on an Acer Chromebook 11

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr