Chinese State-Sponsored Cyber Espionage Activity Targeting Semiconductor Industry in East Asia


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Executive Summary 

EclecticIQ analysts identified a cyber espionage campaign where threat actors used a variant of HyperBro loader with a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) lure, likely to target the semiconductor industry in Mandarin/Chinese speaking East Asian regions (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore). Operational tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) overlap with previously reported activities attributed to People’s Republic of China (PRC) backed cyber espionage group. 

The HyperBro loader variant leverages a digitally signed CyberArk binary for DLL-Side loading, resulting in in-memory execution of a Cobalt Strike beacon. [1] Pivoting the beacon, EclecticIQ analysts identified a previously undocumented malware downloader. This downloader utilizes the BitsTransfer module in PowerShell to fetch malicious binaries from a very likely compromised Cobra DocGuard server.  

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