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Pakistani cyberespionage efforts maturing from simple hacktivism

Pakistan and India are increasing their cyberespionage abilities as they look to steal data and launch coordinated cyberattacks against rivals

By Michael Hatamoto on Aug 19, 2014 04:54 pm CDT - 0 mins, 49 secs reading time

Coordinated state-sponsored cyberattacks are nothing new, but it looks like Pakistan wants to evolve from simple hacktivism and mature into official cyberespionage. Recent collaborative research from FireEye and ThreatConnect noted advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks dating back to early 2013, which is more common from organized cyberattackers.

Pakistani cyberespionage efforts maturing from simple hacktivism | TweakTown.com

The Bitterbug malware, for example, uses US virtual private servers and is designed to steal information and send it back to its operator overseas. It appears that a hosting provider in Pakistan leases the ability to operate a command and control server from a U.S. provider.

"Adversaries are masking their exploitation operations behind U.S. infrastructure and targeting U.S> and international victims," said Rich Barger, ThreatConnect Director of Intelligence Research, in a press release. "These adversaries are purporting to be legitimate organizations and abusing unwitting service providers."

Security experts have continually warned of organized cyberattacks from China and Russia, but countries such as India and Pakistan have a large amount of room to grow.

Michael Hatamoto

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Michael Hatamoto

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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