Inside the West’s failed fight against China’s ‘Cloud Hopper’ hackers

Eight of the world’s biggest technology service providers were hacked by Chinese cyber spies in an elaborate and years-long invasion, Reuters found. The invasion exploited weaknesses in those companies, their customers, and the Western system of technological defense. By JACK STUBBS, JOSEPH MENN and CHRISTOPHER BING LONDON – Hacked by suspected Chinese cyber spies five times from 2014 to 2017, security staff at Swedish telecoms equipment giant Ericsson had taken to naming their response efforts after different types of wine. Pinot Noir began in September 2016. After successfully repelling a wave of attacks a year earlier, Ericsson discovered the intruders were back. And this time, the company’s cybersecurity team could see exactly how they got in: through a connection to information-technology services supplier Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Teams of hackers connected to the Chinese Ministry of State Security had penetrated HPE’s cloud computing service and used it as a launchpad to attack customers, plundering reams of corporate and government secrets for years in what U.S. prosecutors say was an effort to boost Chinese economic interests. The hacking campaign, known as “Cloud Hopper,” was the subject of a U.S. indictment in December that accused two Chinese nationals of identity theft and fraud. Prosecutors described an elaborate operation… continue reading

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