Has BMW been hacked by the Vietnamese government?

Two global upmarket car manufacturers have reported having their networks breached – supposedly conducted by the Vietnamese government, German media is reporting.

Tech news site ZDNet details that both BMW and Hyundai were allegedly hacked sometime this spring by hackers who infected the systems with a testing toolkit known as Cobalt Strike. This was then used as a way into the compromised network.

However, as a way of controlling the situation, BMW is thought to have allowed hackers onto the network where they followed their movements and gathered information. At the end of November, the firm cut off access to the moles.

The company commented that they had “structures and processes’ in place that would allow limited hacking attempts, but did not release any other statement.

Who did the hack?

German news sites, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Taggesschau also claimed that Hyundai has been hacked, but did not have any details of the breach.

It’s believed that the group who conducted the attack are known as the Vietnamese hacking group, Ocean Lotus (otherwise known as APT32 or Cobalt Kitty), and are threat actors known for their attacks on the car manufacturing industry.

Previously, it’s thought that the group targeted Toyota in Japan, Australia, and Vietnam.

Is all that it seems?

Experts are suggesting that the Vietnamese government is behind Ocean Lotus and are backing the unit to carry out espionage on foreign firms. They are then collecting data and intellectual property to sell and use the money towards state-funded organizations, professionals continue to speculate.

Other big car brands have not reported any form of hacking.