China has deeply penetrated Cambodia’s government networks, compromising more than 20 agencies including its national defense ministry, according to new research by cyberthreat analysts at Palo Alto Networks.
- Chinese APT groups target dozens of Cambodian government orgs
- Warning to developing countries over Chinese hacking
The intrusions are fresh, dating to September and October, and are linked to China’s Ministry of State Security — its foreign spy service — as well as a government contractor named Chengdu 404 Network Technology, according to the cyber firm’s Unit 42 threat intelligence group. Unit 42 identified Chinese hacking “infrastructure masquerading as cloud backup services,” it said.
The scope of the intrusion, while broad, makes sense, analysts say, given that China wields great leverage over Cambodia, where Western officials say it is building a Chinese naval facility for the exclusive use of its military. The facility would become China’s first such overseas outpost in the Pacific — a significant element of a strategy to build a network of military facilities around the world in support of its aspirations to become a true global power.