A threat actor using tools and techniques associated with APT10, the Chinese hacking group, and aimed at global cellular telecommunications providers completely took over at least one provider’s network in its efforts to obtain data on very specific, high-value targets, according to a report from the Cybereason Nocturnus team.

Operation Soft Cell, active since at least 2017, launched multiwave attacks on targets and after taking over the IT network, tailored the infrastructure to suit its needs, even “brazenly” inserting its own VPN within the network, Amit Serper, head of security research for Cybereason Nocturnus, told SC Media.

As a result of the initiative, the hackers tapped the active directory for all the data stored there and compromised all of the telecommunication provider’s username and password information as well as PII such as credential, billing data, call detail records, email servers and user geolocation users.

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