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Proofpoint Identifies State-Sponsored Threat Actors Targeting Journalists

According to Proofpoint and data they have obtained from email phishing campaigns, journalists and media organizations are being targeted by state-sponsored threat actors originating from China, North Korea, Turkey, and Iran. Though each campaign is unique to each threat actor, the overall goal of each campaign is similar. Journalists are in a unique position to obtain information for stories they are writing from their own sources on topics that could have major impacts on nation-states. Because of this, journalists will always be targeted by nation-state actors, and it is unlikely that these attacks will ever decrease.

Analyst Notes

In these attacks, the threat actors were able to obtain the victim’s work email address. It is important to limit the number of places that a work email is used to prevent the account from being part of a breach and becoming public. Even while being cautious, it is likely that work email addresses are going to be made public, which is why it is imperative to conduct training for employees on spotting phishing campaigns.