Chinese cyber espionage company exposed for document leak

A massive leak of documents from a Chinese security company has shaken the cybersecurity world, revealing hacking contracts with government agencies, a list of targets and years of conversations between employees. The files, whose authenticity has been confirmed by experts and the media, shed light on the activities of the company called I-Soon or Anxun, founded in Shanghai in 2010.

The leaked documents, which initially appeared on GitHub and were shared on social media, reveal that I-Soon has been involved  at least 14 governments, as well as the hacking of pro-democracy organizations in Hong Kong and universities. Among the identified targets are government agencies in several Asian countries, as well as academic organizations in France, which has raised concerns about the global reach of this company’s operations.

Countries and institutions that have stolen information so far:

  • India: 95.2 gigabytes of immigration data
  • South Korea LG U Plus telecom provider: 3 terabytes of call log data
  • Taiwan: 459GB sample road map data
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, intelligence agency and Senate of Thailand
  • British Home Office, Foreign Affairs and Treasury, and think tanks Chatham House and the International Institute for Strategic Studies

Most shockingly, some of these hacking contracts were made with China’s Ministry of Public Security and the country’s spy agency, suggesting close collaboration between the private sector and the Chinese government in cyber espionage activities. Additionally, the documents detail advanced techniques used by I-Soon, including the ability to access social media accounts such as Twitter and the development of malware designed for mobile devices.

The scandal reveals a cyber espionage industry in China that operates in the shadows, seeking lucrative contracts both domestically and internationally. The leaked conversations also reveal internal tensions within the company, with disgruntled employees raising concerns about low pay and threatening to leave the company.

This scandal raises serious questions about the ethics and legality of cyber espionage operations in China, as well as global cybersecurity. With the company at the center of controversy and its website taken down, it remains to be seen what repercussions these revelations will have both nationally and internationally.

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