According to data from researchers of online security company Kaspersky Lab, a small, highly sophisticated international hacking group that takes in contracts, are most likely responsible for the high-profile information theft and spying attacks done on members of the Japanese Parliament, where it was once attributed to full-time government employees and Chinese hackers.
“What we have here is the emergence of small groups of cyber-mercenaries available to perform targeted attacks,” said Kaspersky’s global research director, Costin Raiu, in an interview. “We actually believe they have contracts, and they are interested in fulfilling whatever the contract requirements are,” he said. Local officials and Japanese media have all, at one time or another, attributed the espionage attack on the Diet to Chinese hackers, but even then, very few details had been provided. Kaspersky’s research has linked the attacks to this new group, although they were unable to confirm if the Chinese government contributed to the attack.