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Chinese group hacked 8 top tech firms to steal data from their clients

The "Cloud Hopper" program targeted 5G developers, travel reservation systems, and submarine builders: Reuters

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Hackers with links to China's government infiltrated the networks of 8 top tech firms

Hackers with links to China's government infiltrated the networks of 8 top tech firms (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Hackers linked to China’s Ministry of State Security launched an operation named “Cloud Hopper” to successfully intrude into the networks of eight technology giants and use them as launchpads to steal data from their clients, the Reuters News Agency reported Thursday (June 27).

The eight included IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fujitsu, and NTT Data, but also touched clients such as Swedish telecom group Ericsson, travel reservation system Sabre, and the builder of nuclear submarines for the United States Navy, according to the Reuters exclusive.

Many of the victims never realized they were affected, while the hacks' success threw a shadow over the security of cloud computing, officials said.

The hacking of data from Sabre might have given the Chinese government valuable information about the whereabouts of company executives and administration officials, leaving them open to approaches or to smartphone and computer surveillance, Reuters reported.

Ericsson was being singled out because of its involvement in the development of 5G technology, making it a direct competitor of China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

In many cases, companies like HPE were unwilling to reveal details about the scale of the hacking to their customers, making effective countermeasures more difficult, according to commentators.