A China-aligned espionage group is targeting global telecoms, sweeping up call data dating back years

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Oct 19, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

An advanced network of digital spies with a nexus to Chinese interests has successfully compromised parts of the global telecommunications network, in some cases allowing access to subscriber information, call metadata, text messages, and other data, according to research released Tuesday by CrowdStrike.

The hacking group, dubbed “LightBasin” by the firm and known publicly as UNC1945, has targeted the telecommunications sector since at least 2016, investigators found. New research has identified 13 telecommunications companies as having been compromised by the network dating back to least 2019. The specific companies were not identified.

“People leverage their cellphones like they’re magic,” said Adam Meyers, CrowdStrike’s senior vice president of intelligence. “They don’t think about the fact that there’s this whole infrastructure that makes it work … and that infrastructure is not something that you can take for granted.”

The report lays out how this group has developed highly customized tools and a precise working knowledge of global telecommunications network architectures such that it can emulate network protocols to allow scanning and “to retrieve highly specific information from mobile communication infrastructure.” The nature of the data targeted “aligns with information likely to be of

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