CISA and Partners join ASD’S ACSC to Release Advisory on PRC State-Sponsored Group, APT 40


CISA has collaborated with the Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ASD’s ACSC) to release an advisory, People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ministry of State Security APT40 Tradecraft in Action outlining a PRC state-sponsored cyber group’s activity. The following organizations also collaborated with ASD’s ACSC on the guidance:

  • The National Security Agency (NSA);
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI);
  • The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-UK);
  • The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS);
  • The New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-NZ);
  • The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV);
  • The Republic of Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) and NIS’ National Cyber Security Center (NCSC); and
  • Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) and National Policy Agency (NPA).

The advisory is based on current ACSC-led incident response investigations and shared understanding of a PRC state-sponsored cyber group, APT40—also known as Kryptonite Panda, GINGHAM TYPHOON, Leviathan and Bronze Mohawk in industry reporting.

APT 40 has previously targeted organizations in various countries, including Australia and the United States. Notably, APT 40 possesses the ability to quickly transform and adapt vulnerability proofs of concept (POCs) for targeting, reconnaissance, and exploitation operations. APT 40 identifies new exploits within widely used public software such as Log4J, Atlassian Confluence and Microsoft Exchange to target the infrastructure of the associated vulnerability.

CISA urges all organizations and software manufacturers to review the advisory to help identify, prevent, and remediate APT 40 intrusions. Software vendors are also urged to incorporate Secure by Design principles into their practices to limit the impact of threat actor techniques and to strengthen the security posture of their products for their customers.

For more information on PRC state-sponsored threat actor activity, see CISA’s People’s Republic of China Cyber Threat. To learn more about secure by design principles and practices, visit CISA’s Secure by Design webpage.

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