National Foreign Trade Council Website Hit by Chinese Hackers

Today's topics include Chinese nation-state hackers' attack on the National Foreign Trade Council website, an SAP report that found digital tools aren't helping collaboration, Google's progress in eliminating fake business listings and Microsoft Power BI's latest collaboration expansion.

Fidelis Cybersecurity is shedding light on an attack on the National Foreign Trade Council's website by Chinese nation-state threat actors.

The attack, which began in late February and lasted through March 1st, was dubbed "Operation TradeSecret" by Fidelis and is seen as an attempt to gain insight into individuals closely associated with U.S trade policy activities.

It was connected to a group known in the security research community as both APT10 and Stone Panda. The attackers infiltrated the NFTC site and embedded malware on several registration pages.

Fidelis found the malware was the Scanbox reconnaissance framework. The Scanbox malware is used by attackers to gain insight into victims' activities and information.

A global survey of 4,100 executives and employees and sponsored by SAP found digital technology isn't improving collaboration.

SAP found that most organizations don't have the management skills, culture or technology in place to recognize a broad payoff through collaboration.

The study found that only 27 percent of executives place a priority on collaborative tools and yet 96 percent of executives blame ineffective collaboration and communities within the organization for failures.

Daisy Hernandez, an SAP executive, explained that technology is "only part of the equation." It is up to managers to decide how to best use it.

Google this week claimed it has taken measures to reduce fake listings placed on Google Maps and Search by spammers. The fake listings draw organic traffic away from legitimate businesses.

While Google says it's making progress in curbing these spammers, it also claims that less the 0.5 percent of search results lead to phony listings. The new measures are based on the findings of a year-long study the company conducted.

Changes include prohibitions on bulk registrations of businesses at most addresses, methods for automatically detecting and ignoring deliberately mangled addresses, and additional verifications for businesses relocating impossibly far from their original locations.

This month's Microsoft Power BI Desktop update brings a new data connectivity option that encourages work team collaboration. The client software is used to publish reports based on the cloud-based business intelligence service.

The new connector, dubbed Power BI Service Live Connection, is currently in preview and can be used to focus a team's attention on a specific set of information and help colleagues find new perspectives. "You can now connect to a dataset that exists on the Power BI service.

This feature is great when you are part of a team and you all want to work off the exact same model," Amanda Cofsky, a Microsoft Power BI program manager, wrote in a blog post.