Almost a year after students ended pro-democracy street protests in Hong Kong, they face an online battle against what Western security experts say are China-sponsored hackers using techniques rarely seen elsewhere.
Hackers have expanded their attacks to parking malware on popular file-sharing services including Dropbox and Google Drive (GOOGL.O) to trap victims into downloading infected files and compromising sensitive information. They also use more sophisticated tactics, honing in on specific targets through so-called ‘white lists’ that only infect certain visitors to compromised websites.
Security experts say such techniques are only used by sophisticated hackers from China and Russia, usually for surveillance and information extraction. Continue reading
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A Cyberwar Quietly Rages Over Hong Kong
While protesters clash with police on the streets of Hong Kong, an unseen battle is being fought on the Internet. A conflict between hackers and the Chinese government is running quietly alongside what takes place on the streets.
In unusually sophisticated attacks that analysts believe are coming from the Chinese regime, hackers are infiltrating the phones, tablets, and computers of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. The breaches allow them not only to know what the protesters are planning ahead of time, but will enable them to monitor the activists even after the protests end.
The shadowy world of hackers isn’t just on the side of the Chinese regime. Hackers in security are hard at work shining a light on the Chinese regime’s cyberattacks. Hacker activists, meanwhile, are also hard at work launching attacks on Chinese government websites and calling for support of the democracy activists on social media. Continue reading