Microsoft links cyber espionage attacks on Taiwanese Organizations to China

Microsoft researchers reveal that a hacking group suspected to have ties with the Chinese government, identified as Flax Typhoon, is actively engaged in a cyber espionage campaign targeting various Taiwanese organizations.

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Microsoft researchers announced their discovery of an active cyber espionage campaign targeting numerous organizations in Taiwan. The campaign, believed to be orchestrated by a hacking group with ties to the Chinese government, has been attributed the moniker ‘Flax Typhoon’ by Microsoft.

According to the company’s investigation, the group’s primary objective is to establish and maintain long-term access within Taiwanese organizations, although instances of attacks have been observed in regions like Southeast Asia, North America, and Africa. The campaign, which entails infiltrating government entities, manufacturing firms, and tech companies, has raised significant concerns.

The timing of this revelation is notable, coinciding with the recent authorization by the Biden administration of a $500 million arms package to Taiwan, coupled with heightened Chinese military exercises near the island. Earlier, a coalition of intelligence agencies, including Microsoft, had exposed Chinese-linked hackers targeting telecommunications systems in Guam. This operation hinted at potential disruptions to communication channels between the United States and its East Asian military assets.

Microsoft’s recent report depicts Flax Typhoon as a stealthy actor, preferring to leverage existing tools within victim systems instead of deploying extensive malware. While the group’s current operations seem focused on Taiwan, its techniques could easily be adapted for broader usage. Microsoft emphasizes the importance of raising awareness across the security community and driving enhanced protective measures.