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Qihoo Claims CIA-Affiliated Hackers Attacked Chinese Companies and Government for 11 Years

By Ding Yi / Mar 04, 2020 07:29 PM / World

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese cybersecurity company Qihoo 360 has accused a U.S. hacking group of spying on Chinese companies and government agencies for more than a decade.

The hacking ring, dubbed APT-C-39, targeted China’s aviation and energy sectors, scientific research organizations, internet companies and government departments between September 2008 and June 2019, Qihoo claimed in a report released Monday on its blog. Most of the targets were located in Beijing and the provinces of Guangdong and Zhejiang, the company said.

Qihoo linked the decade-long cyberattacks against China to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) based on five so-called pieces of evidence, including one suggesting the hackers used CIA-exclusive digital spying tools, which a former CIA employee, Joshua Schulte, leaked to WikiLeaks in 2017.

Moreover, the control commands and encryption schemes of APT-C-39 were also in line with the 2017 disclosures, Qihoo added.

U.S. prosecutors have slammed Schulte’s move, calling it revenge for his professional setbacks, calling the leaks “instantly devastating,” Reuters reported.

Qihoo’s report comes a month after the U.S. Department of Justice charged four members of China’s military with a 2017 hack into credit reporting agency Equifax.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Qihoo’s New Anti-Spycam Feature Targets Peeping Toms


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