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Chinese Hackers Targeted Internet-of-Things During Trump-Putin Summit

Published: July 20, 2018
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Source: Nextgov

Four days before U.S. and Russian leaders met in Helsinki, hackers from China launched a wave of brute-force attacks on internet-connected devices in Finland, seeking to gain control of gear that could collect audio or visual intelligence, a new report says.

Traffic aimed at remote command-and-control features for Finnish internet-connected devices begain to spike July 12, according to a July 19 report by Seattle-based cybersecurity company F5.

“Finland is not typically a top attacked country; it receives a small number of attacks on a regular basis,” the report says.

China generally originates the largest chunk of such attacks; in May, Chinese attacks accounted for 29 percent of the total. But as attacks began to spike on July 12, China’s share rose to 34 percent, the report said. Attacks jumped 2,800 percent.

F5 Labs report on IOT traffic spike in Finland surrounding July 16 U.S. Russian Presidential Summit


The China-based hackers’ primary target was SSH (or Secure Shell) Port 22 — not a physical destination but a specific set of instructions for routing a message to the right destination when the message hits the server. “SSH brute force attacks are commonly used to exploit systems and [internet of things, or IOT] devices online,” the report says. “SSH is often used by IoT devices for ‘secure’ remote administration.”

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