China-linked TA428 Continues to Target Russia and Mongolia IT Companies

Recorded Future’s Insikt Group recently identified renewed activity attributed to the suspected Chinese threat activity group TA428. The identified activity overlaps with a TA428 campaign previously reported by Proofpoint as “Operation LagTime IT”, which targeted Russian and East Asian government information technology agencies in 2019. Based on the infrastructure, tactics, and victim organization identified, we assess that TA428 likely continues to engage in intrusion activity targeting organizations in Russia and Mongolia.

Infrastructure and Targeting

On January 21, 2021, Insikt Group detected the PlugX C2 server 103.125.219[.]222 (Hosting provider: VPSServer[.]com) hosting multiple domains spoofing various Mongolian news entities. One of the domains, f1news.vzglagtime[.]net, previously appeared in the aforementioned Proofpoint Operation LagTime IT blog. At the time of the Proofpoint blog publication in July 2019, the vzglagtime[.]net domain was hosted on 45.76.211[.]18 through the hosting provider Vultr.

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Source: Recorded Future