• KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09131 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09131 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Chinese Hackers Accessed Kazakh Telecoms Data for Two Years 

A Chinese company engaged in cyberintelligence operations in a number of countries has also operated in Kazakhstan, according to the Center for Analysis and Investigation of Cyberattacks (CARCA). Secret data from the company iSoon (also known as Anxun) were published by unknown persons. The company is a contractor of China's Ministry of Public Security. There are also rumors that iSoon is linked to Chengdu 404, China's notorious cyberintelligence structure also known as APT41. "The leak sheds light on the forms and methods of Chinese intelligence, which include infiltrating and obtaining information. The attackers targeted both general information, such as databases, and pinpointed information of specific individuals: monitoring correspondence, calls and movement. Data analysis showed that the volume of stolen information is measured in terabytes," CARCA reported. Cyberattacks were launched at the infrastructure of a number of countries, among them Kazakhstan. The hacker group had access to the infrastructure of Kazakhstani telecom operators Kcell, Tele2, Beeline and others for two years. The hackers had access to the operators' event logs, call duration, IMEI of devices and call billing. The leak includes files with information about subscribers of the telecom operators. The cybercriminals also knew the user data of IDNET, IDTV with personal data of subscribers, their logins and passwords, and even logs of individual subscribers with details of all calls and activities. Furthermore, data from Kazakhstan's Unified Accumulative Pension Fund (JSC UAPF), information on the mail server of the Kazakh Ministry of Defense, and data from airline Air Astana were also among those accessed by iSoon. CARCA found screenshots of correspondence between members of the cybercriminal group, in which they discussed the hacked subscribers and their information. Investigations revealed that targeted attacks were also carried out on employees of law enforcement agencies. "The Trojan Horse (malware) could pull out all host information, manage processes, files (view, delete, execute, modify), execute commands (CMD operations), take screenshots, record every button pressed on the keyboard, and more. The authors claim that 95% of antivirus programs will not be able to detect this trojan, including Kaspersky, Symantec and others. At the same time, the Trojan Horse is able to uninstall and restart on its own," CARCA claims. Moreover, the hackers had a Mac OS version of the trojan. They could also control iOS and Android systems. However, the functionality for iOS was much smaller than Android. In addition, the hackers had Linux versions and an implantable Wi-Fi device. CARCA noted that the Chinese group had access to Kazakhstan's data for at least two years. The group suggested creating an independent cybersecurity agency. CARCA experts believe that as long as the information security committee is subordinate to the Ministry of Digitalization, the structure of the state will be vulnerable. The Unified Accumulative Pension Fund denies any knowledge of a data breach concerning ordinary Kazakhs. "UAPF, in connection with the spread of information in the network about the leakage of personal data of Kazakhstanis from the database of the EAPF, which allegedly posted by unknown persons in...

Group-IB Opens First Digital Crime Resistance Center in Central Asia

TASHKENT - On December 26th, Group-IB, a leading force in cybersecurity technology combating digital crime, revealed the inauguration of its pioneering Digital Crime Resistance Center (DCRC) in Central Asia. Located in Tashkent, this state-of-the-art facility marks Group-IB’s expansion strategy, aimed at proactively confronting cyber threats worldwide, notably those originating from Russian-speaking hacker communities. Choosing Tashkent for their newest DCRC underlines Group-IB’s recognition of Uzbekistan’s economic significance and its potential to emerge as a global cybersecurity hub. The memorandum signed between the Central Bank of Uzbekistan and Group-IB in August 2023 further emphasizes the collaboration to counter cyberattacks and elevate cybersecurity measures. Group-IB plans to fortify its engagement with Uzbekistan’s higher education sector, emphasizing investment in the country's youth and its tech industry. Dmitry Volkov, CEO of Group-IB, highlighted, “Selecting Tashkent, Uzbekistan as the site for our fifth Digital Crime Resistance Center globally is a strategic move to heighten our understanding of Russian-speaking threat actors. Cybercrime knows no borders, necessitating a comprehensive approach. By establishing a DCRC in Tashkent, Group-IB aims to elevate cybersecurity standards not only in Uzbekistan but across the broader Central Asian region.”

Iran and Russia warn about IS relocation to Afghanistan

TEHRAN (TCA) — Security chiefs of Iran and Russia have warned about the relocation of remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terror group from their former Middle East strongholds to Afghanistan, Iran’s PressTV news agency reports. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, and Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Federation’s Security Council, made the remarks at the second meeting of the Regional Security Dialogue conference in Tehran on December 18. The event was also attended by top security officials of China, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. “Since Daesh’s [Islamic State or IS] defeat in Iraq and Syria, one of the [pressing] security concerns has been the relocation of the defeated Daesh elements from the two countries to Afghanistan,” Shamkhani said. The purpose behind the relocation is providing the terror group with a base for planning, organizing and carrying out acts of terror against the Central Asian country and its neighbors, he added. He named terrorism and radicalism as the most serious challenges facing the region, saying the presence of extra-regional forces in the region are fueling such threats. Russia’s Patrushev said Afghanistan currently hosts between 2,500 and 4,000 Daesh terrorists. Patrushev said the only way out of Afghanistan’s current woes is direct and unconditional talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government. He also referred to the increase in drug production in Afghanistan as one of the principal sources of funding terrorism, and said around $600 million of the funds deriving from drug production and sales go to terrorist outfits in the region each year.

China-Russia security cooperation in Central Asia

BISHKEK (TCA) — The increasing military cooperation of China and Russia with Central Asia countries is in the interests of both Beijing and Moscow, as all the parties face common security threats in the region.  We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Nurlan Aliyev*: Continue reading

Kazakhstan: Sinologist jailed for treason, stripped of citizenship

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — A leading Kazakh sinologist, Konstantin Syroyezhkin, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on high-treason charges and stripped of his citizenship, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. Continue reading

Impact of the US-Iran confrontation on Central Asia

BISHKEK (TCA) — Both Iran and Central Asia countries are interested in increased economic and political cooperation, but governments in Central Asian states are cautious about too close ties with Tehran as they have to balance between their own interests and possible implications of the US pressure on the Islamic Republic. We are republishing the following article on the issue, written by Uran Botobekov*: Continue reading

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