Leaked Data Shows China Cyber Firm Allegedly Hacked Govt Agencies, Businesses, Organizations

Leaked Data Shows China Cyber Firm Allegedly Hacked Govt Agencies, Businesses, Organizations

Leaked Data Shows China Cyber Firm Hacked Govt Agencies

According to leaked documents, a government-backed Chinese cyber group called i-Soon claimed that they are capable of hacking the UK Foreign Office.

The leaked data doesn’t just talk about targeting the Foreign Office—other UK agencies, think tanks, and charities were also found on the list.

According to reports from cybersecurity firms SentinelLabs and Malwarebytes, i-Soon has already successfully managed to attack more than a dozen governments.

It also violated the many democratic organizations in Hong Kong—which is partially under China’s control. Other victims on the list include some universities and the NATO military alliance.

Not just that, some other documents that have surfaced after the initial leak suggest that many public and private entities have been successfully hacked across Asia and Europe by i-Soon.

Whether these hacked entities were compromised is not known as of now. The identity of the person who leaked these documents is also unknown.

More About The Origin Of The Leak

The leaked i-Soon data was found last week (16th Feb) on GitHub by an unknown account.

For context, i-Soon is a private company that competed for contracts from the Chinese government. The company is pretty small, with only 25 employees and a headquarters in Shanghai. Currently, they provide cyber services to the Chinese government, military, and other security agencies.

The leaked documents consisted of 577 files and chat logs, all of which were posted on GitHub.

The leaked data was also analyzed by 3 security experts and all of them confirmed that it seemed genuine.

The documents entail more than 8 years of i-Soon’s work— everything about its data-extracting schemes using which it compromised UK agencies and a bunch of other organizations across Asia, including Taiwan, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Singapore.

One of the cases that caught our attention was when a Chinese government agency gave the firm around $15,000 (£11,900) to break into the Vietnamese traffic police’s website. Another instance was when a deal of $100,000 (£79,000) was made to run a disinformation campaign on X.

Who Are The People Behind This Firm & Its Attacks?

No particular user has been identified through the leaked documents. However, one of the chat logs revealed the name of someone called “Boss Lu”.

A conversation was recorded between Boss Lu and some other participants where they discussed how the UK Foreign Office was one of their top targets.

There were several other targets discussed on these chats such as the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

Similarly, another conversation showed an unknown user sending a list of targets to i-Soon in the UK. This included the Chatham House, the British Treasury, and Amnesty International. To which, someone from i-Soon replied “We don’t have this to hand, but we can work on it,”.

The documents also talked about how the firm can get remote control over a device. Services under this included hacking iPhones and other smartphones and taking control over devices like power banks to steal and send data to the hackers.

Ever since the leak went viral, i-Soon’s website became unavailable.

The Chinese embassy in the UK said they are not aware of any such leak. But another source for the AP News Agency said that both the Chinese police and i-Soon are investigating the leak.

This revelation has the power to irreversibly shake international diplomatic relations with China. While the outcome of these investigations will probably never be made public, it has already highlighted the security shortcomings of many governments.

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