The suspicions of support and cooperation between international state sponsored hacking groups and terrorist groups continues to mount as a result of the ongoing Israel/Hamas military action. Last week reports indicated that as the conflict escalated so did the cyber attacks on Israel websites, as much as ten-fold by some estimates. At that time speculation had it that the sophisticated cyber attacks were originating outside of the region and were being state sponsored.
Today we have reports from the security firm Crowdstrike that the Chinese state sponsored hacking group known as Deep Panda has been making intrusive moves into several US think tanks and gathering information on individuals who are involved with Middle East affairs. This is a shift from Deep Panda’s usual monitoring of Asian discussions in such think tanks. As you recall Crowdstrike is the firm that has been sounding the alarm about Chinese cyber attacks on US interests for some time. Last May the US government indicted 5 Chinese nationals for their activities.
This discovered shift in focus by the Chinese from Asian matters to Middle East affairs at this particular moment in the Israel/Hamas conflict heightens the suspicion that there is an undiscovered connection and cooperation between state-sponsored hacking groups and terrorist organizations. What that connection may be, and who is behind those connections, remains unsettled, but the evidence is mounting that such connections exist.