Friday, July 23, 2021

Chinese Cyberspying Efforts Linked to Former Graduate Student

The New York Times: A new report from security firm Trend Micro details extensive hack attacks against Japanese, Indian and Tibetan organizations. It links those attacks to the alias “scuhkr,” which is owned by a Chinese man named Gu Kaiyuan. Gu formerly studied at Sichuan University, in Chengdu, China, which receives funding for research into network security from the Chinese government, and he may have helped recruit other university students during his time as a graduate student there. He currently works at Tencent, China’s leading Internet portal company.

According to the report, the cybersyping campaign systematically targeted at least 233 PCs used by Indian military research organizations and shipping companies; aerospace, energy and engineering companies in Japan; and Tibetan advocacy groups. The attacks have gone on for at least ten months.

“The fact they targeted Tibetan activists is a strong indicator of official Chinese government involvement,” said James A. Lewis, a former diplomat and computer security expert in computer security who works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “A private Chinese hacker may go after economic data but not a political organization.”

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