Chinese hackers breached Fortigate firewalls worldwide, over 20,000 systems

Scale of the Attack

If you thought the initial reports of the Chinese cyber-espionage campaign were alarming, the latest revelations will leave you stunned. The Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) has warned that the attack’s impact is “much larger than previously known”, with over 20,000 systems compromised worldwide.

Vulnerability Exploited

On closer inspection, it becomes clear that the attackers exploited a critical FortiOS/FortiProxy remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2022-42475) to gain access to vulnerable Fortigate network security appliances.

For instance, during the “zero-day” period, the attackers managed to infect an astonishing 14,000 devices alone. The targets included dozens of Western governments, international organizations, and a large number of companies within the defense industry. The sheer scale of the attack is a testament to the sophistication and reach of the Chinese hackers.

Number of Devices Infected

A staggering number of devices were compromised in this massive cyber-attack. According to reports, over 20,000 Fortigate systems worldwide were breached, with 14,000 devices infected during the zero-day period alone. This means that your organization may have been affected, and it’s vital to take immediate action to assess the damage and secure your systems.

Targets of the Attack

Now that the extent of the attack has been revealed, it’s clear that the targets were diverse and widespread. Dozens of Western governments, international organizations, and companies within the defense industry were compromised, putting sensitive information at risk.

Plus, the fact that the malware was found on a Dutch Ministry of Defence network used for research and development projects raises concerns about the potential theft of intellectual property and sensitive data. This attack highlights the importance of robust security measures and vigilance in protecting your organization’s assets from sophisticated cyber threats.