Canadian Amnesty International has admitted that its security team detected a data breach attack a couple of months ago. According to their announcement, the entity that might have breached their network is a state-backed threat group in China.
The international human rights non-governmental organisation stated that the first sighting of the malicious activity was from the early days of October this year when they were investigating suspicious activity on its IT infrastructure.
The NGO quickly employed the services of a third-party cybersecurity group to aid them with the investigation and help them secure their systems after their team spotted the attack.
Amnesty International Canada’s preliminary investigation results showed that a digital security breach was orchestrated through tools and techniques connected to a specific stated-sponsored advanced persistent threat group.
The third-party researchers then established that a threat group hired by the Chinese state was likely the culprit of the attack. Currently, they are looking for the threat actor’s primary objective of attacking the Canadian NGO.
The researchers have concluded that the attack is more likely caused by a Chinese threat group since the tactics, techniques, and procedures used are common to China-backed actors.
Moreover, the targeted data of the group corresponds to the usually targeted information of Chinese state hackers.
The Amnesty International branch in Canada found no proof of data exfiltration during the attack.
Investigations have not found any evidence showing the possibility of data exfiltration against Amnesty International. Subsequently, the NGO contacted law enforcement agencies and notified its employees, donors, and other stakeholders regarding the incident.
The Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada said that the case of cyber espionage is constantly increasing and is deployed by many actors to target activists, civil society, and journalists.
However, the Secretary-General explained that their work would not falter despite the constant aggression they receive from malicious entities like state-sponsored hackers. Furthermore, they will continue condemning illegal acts since they are becoming more critical and relevant to modern society.
They will continue to focus more on criticising governments’ use of digital surveillance, which violates human rights.