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Chinese Hackers Infiltrated Eight Major Tech Providers For Years With ‘Devastating’ Impact: Report

June 26, 2019, 3:16 PM UTC

Eight of the world’s biggest technology firms were targets of an intense hacking campaign, battling teams sponsored by China’s Ministry of State Security, according to a report from Reuters.

The attacks, which started as early as 2014, reportedly focused on gathering corporate and state secrets in an effort to boost China’s economic interests. Among the infiltrated companies were Hewlett Packard, IBM, Fujitsu, Tata Consultancy Services, NTT Data, Dimension Data, Computer Sciences Corporation and DXC Technology, a Hewlett Packard spin-off.

Known as Cloud Hopper, the campaign was initially disclosed via an indictment in December. That indictment, though, identified just two companies. Reuters‘ report shows the intrusions were much more widespread that initially revealed.

The attacks also had a ripple effect, impacting companies including travel reservation system Sabre, Swedish telecom giant Ericsson and Huntington Ingalls Industries, a shipbuilder for the U. S. Navy. However, the agency notes, “it’s impossible to say how many companies were breached.”

It’s unclear if the Cloud Hopper hacks were tied with the recent outages of Sabre that resulted in massive flight delays around the country. Sabre and IBM have previously said there was no evidence any sensitive corporate data was taken (including traveler information). A Huntington Ingalls spokesperson told Reuters there was no breach of the company’s data, as well. Other affected companies declined to comment.

Reuters says it was unable to determine the full extent of the damage done by the attacks, but one expert it spoke with said the impact was “devastating.”

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