Data leak

Patchwork Hackers Target Chinese Research Organizations Using EyeShell Backdoor Copy

In a sophisticated cyber espionage campaign, the notorious hacker group known as Patchwork has set its sights on Chinese research organizations, deploying the EyeShell backdoor in a series of targeted attacks. This strategic maneuver marks a significant escalation in the group’s activities, highlighting the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats and the increasing sophistication of attackers aiming to infiltrate high-value targets for intelligence gathering.

Unveiling the EyeShell Backdoor

The EyeShell backdoor is a potent tool in the arsenal of cyber espionage, designed to stealthily infiltrate systems and provide attackers with remote access to compromised networks. Once inside, the backdoor facilitates the exfiltration of sensitive data, allowing Patchwork hackers to conduct surveillance and steal research findings from Chinese organizations. The choice of EyeShell underscores the group’s preference for tools that can bypass conventional security measures, leveraging vulnerabilities to maintain persistence within targeted networks.

The Patchwork Hacker Group

Patchwork, also known as APT C-23 and Dropping Elephant, has a history of targeting entities across Asia, focusing on sectors with strategic significance, including defense, government, and now, research organizations. Their operations are characterized by the use of custom malware and social engineering tactics to exploit human and technological vulnerabilities. The shift towards Chinese research organizations signals a strategic pivot, likely driven by the high value of intellectual property and state-sponsored research findings within these institutions.

Implications for Cybersecurity

The deployment of the EyeShell backdoor by Patchwork hackers against Chinese research organizations serves as a stark reminder of the persistent threat posed by cyber espionage groups. These actors continuously adapt their tactics and tools to penetrate targeted networks, underscoring the need for robust cybersecurity defenses and proactive threat hunting strategies.

Organizations, especially those within high-risk sectors such as research and development, must prioritize the implementation of advanced security measures. This includes regular security audits, employee training on phishing and social engineering awareness, and the deployment of endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions to identify and mitigate threats in real-time.

Collaborative Defense Strategies

To effectively counter the sophisticated tactics employed by groups like Patchwork, a collaborative approach to cybersecurity is essential. Sharing threat intelligence among organizations and with government entities can provide early warning of emerging threats and facilitate the development of collective defense strategies. Moreover, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies can enhance anomaly detection, providing an additional layer of security against complex threats like the EyeShell backdoor.


The targeting of Chinese research organizations by Patchwork hackers using the EyeShell backdoor is a significant development in the realm of cyber espionage. It highlights the critical importance of vigilant, adaptive cybersecurity practices in protecting sensitive information and intellectual property. As cyber threats continue to evolve, so too must the strategies deployed to defend against them. In this digital age, cybersecurity is not just a technical challenge but a strategic imperative for organizations worldwide.

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