'Zombie Zero' Cyber-Attacks Hit Logistics, Robotic Firms for Months
The supply-chain cyber-attack infiltrated logistics firms and robotics manufacturers for more than a year, according to new details provided by TrapX Security.The Zombie Zero supply-chain attack targeted robotics manufacturers as well as shipping and logistics firms, compromising systems for more than a year, according to new details from the analysis of the economic-espionage campaign provided by security firm TrapX Security. Zombie Zero is a suspected nation-state attack, which compromised at least eight companies beginning in May 2013, according to TrapX's findings. Malware preloaded into a proprietary scanner used by global shipping-and-logistic companies compromised networks from the inside and, once updated with additional functionality by controllers in China, stole financial and shipping information, TrapX stated. "It is absolutely tailor-made," Carl Wright, general manager of TrapX's North American operations, told eWEEK. "It was very selective. Not just so they could get the data, but so they could modify the shipping database. At a high level, they could make packages appear and disappear." The original data and the additional focus on robotics firms were not part of the initial announcement, but were revealed during the ongoing analysis of the attack, Wright said. While TrapX would not name the maker of the scanners, Wright said that the name will be made public within the next three weeks, when the company makes additional details available.
Supply-chain attacks are rarely publicized, but often used to infect networks and systems that are otherwise inaccessible. Documents leaked from the National Security Agency by former contractor Edward Snowden suggested that a group within the NSA intercepted products shipped from the manufacturer and placed "implants" in the hardware or firmware that could be used to gather intelligence on hard-to-reach targets. In January, Cisco, Dell and other companies took the NSA to task for undermining the trust of international customers in their products.