Joint Cyber Advisory: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures of Indicted APT40 Actors

Joint Cyber Advisory TLP White: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures of Indicted APT40 Actors Associated with China’s MSS Hainan State Security Department 

TLP White
July 19, 2021

At a Glance

SUMMARY 

This Joint Cybersecurity Advisory was written by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to provide information on a Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) group known in open-source reporting as APT40. This advisory provides APT40’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and indicators of compromise (IOCs) to help cybersecurity practitioners identify and remediate APT40 intrusions and established footholds. 

APT40—aka BRONZE MOHAWK, FEVERDREAM, G0065, Gadolinium, GreenCrash, Hellsing, Kryptonite Panda, Leviathan, MUDCARP, Periscope, Temp.Periscope, and Temp.Jumper—is located in Haikou, Hainan Province, People’s Republic of China (PRC), and has been active since at least 2009. APT40 has targeted governmental organizations, companies, and universities in a wide range of industries—including biomedical, robotics, and maritime research—across the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and the South China Sea area, as well as industries included in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.  

On July 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed an indictment against four APT40 cyber actors for their illicit computer network exploitation (CNE) activities via front company Hainan Xiandun Technology Development Company (Hainan Xiandun) between 2011 and 2018. Hainan Xiandun employee Wu Shurong cooperated with and carried out orders from PRC Ministry of State Security (MSS) Hainan State Security Department (HSSD) intelligence officers Ding Xiaoyang, Zhu Yunmin, and Cheng Qingmin to conduct CNE. Wu’s CNE activities resulted in the theft of trade secrets, intellectual property, and other high-value information from companies and organizations in the United States and abroad, as well as from multiple foreign governments. These MSS-affiliated actors targeted victims in the following industries: academia, aerospace/aviation, biomedical, defense industrial base, education, government, healthcare, manufacturing, maritime, research institutes, and transportation (rail and shipping). 

View the entire report below. 

For help with Cybersecurity and Risk Advisory Services exclusively for AHA members, contact:

John Riggi

Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk, AHA

jriggi@aha.org

(O) +1 202 626 2272

(M) +1 202 640 9159

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