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China blamed in drone hack

China-based hackers have broken into the systems of a European drone company and a US subsidiary of a French energy management company.

The attacks are both likely to be economically motivated and designed to help Chinese firms in the targeted sectors, according to security intelligence firm ThreatConnect.

It alleges that China is targeting companies with US government connections, often based outside the US, to evade the terms of the 2015 Sino-American treaty prohibiting economically-motivated cyber-espionage. The hack against the US subsidiary of a French energy management company might actually be part of an attempt to hack into its US government clients, ThreatConnect concedes.

The HttpBrowser malware associated with the latest attacks phones home to a domain with the same registrant as those used in the 2015 Anthem and US government Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breaches, hence the allegation that the so-called Emissary Panda APT crew is behind the latest hacks. ®

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