Chinese hackers are using ever more ingenious means to steal industrial secrets from western targets, the New York Times reported Monday.
In the latest case, they used an e-mail attachment disguised as a brochure for a yoga studio in Toulouse, France, the hub of the European aerospace industry, the report said, citing Crowdstrike, a security company based in Irvine, California.
Once opened, the attachment allowed the hackers to sidestep the target’s network security and swipe closely guarded satellite technology.
Fake yoga brochures are just one of many ways used by a stealth Chinese military unit for hacking, according to Crowdstrike.
Their targets are the networks of European, American and Japanese government entities, defense contractors and research companies in the space and satellite industry, systematically broken into for seven years, the report said.
The new revelations came just weeks after the United States indicted five members of the Chinese army for alleged cyber attacks on US companies.
The report ties attacks to a group of Shanghai-based hackers whom Crowdstrike called Putter Panda because they often targeted golf-playing conference attendees.
The US National Security Agency and its partners have identified the hackers as Unit 61486, according to interviews with a half-dozen current and former American officials.
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