Chinese Hackers Harness HTML Smuggling To Bypass Security Controls
A New Report Gives Insights
In a bold move against online security mechanisms, Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups have been found leveraging HTML smuggling to infiltrate various systems, bypassing security controls in a sophisticated evasion technique.
HTML smuggling, a relatively novel form of attack, allows threat actors to bypass standard security checks by exploiting the very nature of HTML5 features to deliver malicious payloads.
The attack works by embedding malware into the HTML content of a website, Microsoft explained. By deceiving security systems, the HTML attack tricks the systems into thinking the payload is part of the legitimate site itself. This approach not only allows the malware to bypass network security controls but also gives the user a false sense of security, as they believe they are interacting with a trusted website.
This technique, while not new, has been effectively utilized by these Chinese APT groups to great effect. A detailed report by Check Point Research has brought attention to the increasing number of attacks utilizing HTML smuggling, particularly from APT groups in China. These attacks, initiated from Chinese IP addresses, started in January this year, and have targeted a wide range of industries.
The victims of the attack, often unaware of the infiltration, continue to operate as usual until the malware initiates its intended action. These targeted industries range from large corporations to smaller businesses, demonstrating the wide net these cybercriminals are willing to cast.
While HTML smuggling provides a powerful tool for these malicious actors, it also serves as a stark reminder of the evolving landscape of cybersecurity. As these threats continue to evolve, so too must our defenses.
Cybersecurity teams will need to remain vigilant and be aware of the potential risks posed by these increasingly complex attack strategies.