“Serious” Hack Attacks From China Targeting UK Firms
UK firms have been warned about “serious” cyber attacks originating in China that seek to steal trade secrets. The gang behind the attacks has compromised technology service firms and plans to use them as a proxy for attacks, security firms have said. The group, dubbed APT10, is using custom-made malware and spear phishing to gain access to target companies. Forensic analysis of the times when the attackers were most active as well as the tools and techniques they used led PwC and BAE to conclude that the group was based in China. They have not established who is behind the APT10 group or how it chooses its targets.
In “China’s Jerusalem,” “Anti-terror Cameras” the New Cross for Churches to Bear
Alice Yan, SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
Christians and government officials have come to blows over demands that churches in a city known as “China’s Jerusalem” install surveillance cameras for “anti-terrorism and security purposes.” The Zhejiang government issued the orders to churches in Wenzhou late last year and began implementing them before the Lunar New Year holiday in January. The confrontation with the city’s Christian community, which is estimated to number roughly one million, comes three years after the authorities ordered the removal of crosses on top of church buildings, on the grounds that they were illegal structures. Opponents called the 2014 campaign religious persecution.
North Korean Defector Tells Lester Holt “World Should Be Ready”
Lester Holt and Alexander Smith, NBC
A senior North Korean defector has told NBC News that the country’s “desperate” dictator is prepared to use nuclear weapons to strike the United States and its allies. Thae Yong Ho is the most high profile North Korean defector in two decades, meaning he is able to give a rare insight into the secretive, authoritarian regime. According to Thae, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is “desperate in maintaining his rule by relying on his [development of] nuclear weapons and ICBM.” He was using an acronym for intercontinental ballistic missiles—a long range rocket that in theory would be capable of hitting the US.
North Korea-Linked Hackers are Attacking Banks Worldwide
Jose Pagliery, CNN
North Korea’s hacking operations are growing and getting more bold—and increasingly targeting financial institutions worldwide. North Korea is now being linked to attacks on banks in 18 countries, according to a new report from Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. And the stolen money is likely being spent advancing North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, according to two international security experts. In February, a UN investigation revealed that North Korea is using a network of front companies and secret agents to access global banks.
House votes to Move Toward Designating North Korea as State Sponsor of Terror
Christina Marcos, THE HILL
The House approved legislation on Monday that would order the State Department to determine whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism. The 394-1 vote comes after North Korea test fired a new ballistic missile in February, along with multiple other nuclear and ballistic missile tests last year alone. Lawmakers also adopted, 398-3, a resolution on Monday condemning North Korea’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles in violation of United Nations Security council measures. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), the author of the bill, argued North Korea’s escalation of weapons tests merited at least consideration for being reinstated as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Venezuela Representative Storms from Regional Meeting
Lesley Wroughton and Carlos Rawlins, REUTERS
Venezuela’s representative to the Organization of American States stormed out of a session of the 34-nation bloc on Monday, calling the meeting a “coup d’état,” as regional pressure grew for President Maduro to fully restore democratic rule. The meeting of the OAS Permanent Council was called at the weekend by 20 countries, including the United States, concerned about democratic erosion in Venezuela under Maduro. In a controversial move last week, Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled that it was assuming functions of the opposition-led National Assembly. Critics viewed the ruling as a step toward dictatorship by Maduro’s Socialist Party, which has ruled for 18 years. The head of the OAS, Luis Almagro, has called for Venezuela to be expelled from the group, which would further isolate Maduro.