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Hackers on sale: lessons from China’s cyber breach revealed

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TLDR:

  • A massive data leak from a Chinese cybersecurity firm, I-Soon, has provided insight into China’s hacking program.
  • The leaked data reveals targets, clients, hacking tools for sale, and the working conditions at the firm.

A significant data breach from the Chinese cybersecurity firm, I-Soon, has shed light on the inner workings of China’s hacking program. The leaked data offers valuable insights into the daily operations of Beijing-linked hackers, showcasing their targets, clients, hacking tools for sale, and the working conditions at the firm.

Targets:

The leak revealed that I-Soon targeted government agencies of China’s neighboring countries, telecom service providers in various nations, as well as governmental institutions and organizations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India. They also focused on domestic targets within China.

Clients:

Most of I-Soon’s customers were provincial or local police departments, along with province-level state security agencies. The firm also offered services to help protect devices from hacking and secure communications, with references to official corruption and client relationships in sensitive regions.

Hacking Tools:

I-Soon’s main focus was on developing trojan horses, building databases of personal information, accessing and taking over computers remotely, breaching smartphone operating systems, and offering custom hardware for data extraction. They also provided tools to break into social media accounts and bypass two-step authentication.

The Hackers:

The leak depicted a less-than-ideal work environment at I-Soon, with employees expressing dissatisfaction with office politics, lack of expertise, low pay, and management issues. Some employees were seen arguing over salaries, while others criticized the boss’s extravagant spending instead of providing pay raises.


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