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November 12, 2014

Human rights groups reportedly targeted by Chinese hackers

Report also found proof of a Tibetan group targeted by PLA Unit 61398

By CBR Staff Writer

A new report from Citizen Lab claims that Chinese hackers are targeting activists, journalists and human rights groups using similar techniques used to steal state secrets.

The victims are short of resources to protect themselves against sophisticated attacks, in addition to experiencing high risk from theexposure, the report added.

Citizen Lab director Ron Deibert said: "There’s no doubt about it. This is something that is, if not carefully orchestrated by the government of China, is certainly tolerated by them and they benefit from it."

The report also found proof of a Tibetan group being targeted by hackers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Unit 61398, who are also involved in compromising a rights group.

Based on the analysis of computer networks of 10 civil society groups over four years, the report added that trapping targets into opening infected files was more relevant to success compared to technical sophistication.

Furthermore, the report noted that some attacks targeting particular elements continued over a period of time, stimulated by political intentions.

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