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How did a mega data leak reveal the hacker network that would control the Chinese government?

The government of China allegedly subcontracted a private company to hack and spy on private and public companies and institutions in different countries, as revealed by a massive leak of documents analyzed by the Intelligence services of U.S.

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The leaked data appeared last week on the online software repository GitHub and would correspond to records from I-Soon, a private company based in Shanghai, with operations in Beijing, Sichuan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, which also usually participates in tenders called by the government. Chinese government.

The leak provides some of the most concrete details ever published and reveals the maturity of the Chinese cyberespionage ecosystem“, assured cyber security analysts from the company SentinelLabs to the AFP agency.

According to leaked data, over the last eight years I-Soon has managed to infiltrate g.

Furthermore, it would have closely monitored the activities of different ethnic minorities. This point is important considering that Beijing has been accused of detaining hundreds of thousands of members of the Uighur community in the Xinjiang region, in what the United States has described as genocide and different human rights groups denounce as an ethnic campaign.

The New York Times, on the other hand, revealed that hackers offered a wide range of services to Chinese authorities. “A local government in southwestern China paid less than $15,000 to access the private website of Vietnam’s traffic police. The software that helped carry out disinformation campaigns and hack accounts on X (formerly Twitter) cost US$100,000. For $278,000, Chinese customers could obtain a wealth of personal information behind social media accounts on platforms like Telegram and Facebook”, notes the North American newspaper.

The leaked data, grouped into a spreadsheet containing 183 contracts signed between 2016 and 2022, reveals that I-Soon’s clients included the Police, Intelligence Service and the Chinese Army, according to CNN. A list of possible government targets in Thailand and the United Kingdom that could have been attacked in the near future was also found.

This discovery would corroborate the FBI’s claims that China has the largest computer hacking program of any country. “This is some of the best visibility we’ve had into Chinese hacking operations outside of a government SCIF.“Cybersecurity expert Adam Kozy told CNN, using an acronym that refers to sensitive facilities.

They are part of an ecosystem of service providers that have ties to the patriotic Chinese hacking scene, which developed two decades ago and has since become legitimate.“, in turn, Google’s Mandiant Intelligence chief analyst John Hultquist told The New York Times.

I-Soon did not respond to various media outlets or news agencies requesting comment. Additionally, his page was down on Friday.

The scandal comes a month after FBI Director Christopher Wray and other senior U.S. officials warned Congress that a group of Chinese hackers had infiltrated critical U.S. systems and could use that access to disrupt any U.S. military response. US to a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, according to CNN. .

Meanwhile, on the Chinese side, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mao Ning, assured during a press conference held last Thursday that she was not aware of the I-Soon data leak. “In principle, China firmly opposes and cracks down on all forms of cyber attacks in accordance with the law“, said the spokesperson.

Source: Elcomercio

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