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Telcos around the world hit by large-scale, long-term intelligence gathering cyberattack

A long-term, large scale attack targeting telecom companies around the world has been discovered. The attack, dubbed Operation Soft Cell by security firm Cybereason, saw hundreds of gigabytes of information exfiltrated. The company claims the attackers had total control of compromised networks and could have easily brought down entire cellular networks if they so wished.

“Cellular service is a critical infrastructure nowadays,” says Amit Serper, principal security researcher at Cybereason and author of the report. “What really worries me is the amount of access they have–the complete access they have to the network. The worst thing they can do is sabotage it and one day just shut down the whole network.”

Cybereason has not named the ten telcos involved, but Serper says they span Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. The company says it has not yet found evidence of North American companies being compromised.

The company is attributing the attack to the Chinese-affiliated APT10 threat actor based on the similarity of tools, tactics, and procedures used in previous attacks attributed to the group.

Threat actors gain “complete control” of telecom…

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