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A Chinese advanced persistent threat (APT) known as Gallium has been observed using a previously undocumented remote access trojan in its espionage attacks targeting companies operating in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Called PingPull, the “difficult-to-detect” backdoor is notable for its use of the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) for command-and-control (C2) communications, according to new research published by Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 today.

Gallium is notorious for its attacks primarily aimed at telecom companies dating as far back as 2012. Also tracked under the name Soft Cell by Cybereason, the state-sponsored actor has been connected to a broader set of attacks targeting five major telecom companies located in Southeast Asian countries since 2017.

Over the past year, however, the group is said to have expanded its victimology footprint to include financial institutions and government entities located in Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Malaysia, Mozambique, the Philippines, Russia, and Vietnam.

 

images from Hacker News