Mofang: a politically motivated information stealing adversary

Lead author: Yonathan Klijnsma
Co-authors: Danny Heppener, Mitchel Sahertian, Krijn de Mik, Maarten van Dantzig, Yun Zheng Hu, Lennart Haagsma, Martin van Hensbergen, Erik de Jong

On June 15, 2016 researchers from Fox-IT have presented the results of an extensive study into the spy ring Mofang. The results are reported in the paper ‘Mofang: A politically motivated information stealing adversary’.

Mofang (模仿, Mófa ̌ng, to imitate) is a threat actor that almost certainly operates out of China and is probably government-affiliated. It is highly likely that Mofang’s targets are selected based on involvement with investments, or technological advances that could be perceived as a threat to the Chinese sphere of influence. This is most clearly the case in a campaign focusing on government and critical infrastructure of Myanmar that is described in this report. Chances are about even, though, that Mofang is a relevant threat actor to any organization that invests in Myanmar or is otherwise politically involved. In addition to the campaign in Myanmar, Mofang has been observed to attack targets across multiple sectors (government, military, critical infrastructure and the automotive and weapon industries) in multiple countries.

The report ‘Mofang; A politically motivated information stealing adversary’ contains contextual as well as technical information about the group and its activities. These can be used, for example, for threat assessments, compromise assessments, incident response and forensics activities.


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