A Chinese hacking group breached a telecom to monitor targets' texts, phone metadata

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OCT 31, 2019 | CYBERSCOOP

Chinese government-linked hackers are monitoring mobile text messages of specific users, and for certain keywords as part of a new surveillance campaign meant to track individuals in a vast trove of telecommunication data, according to findings published Thursday.

APT41, a group that carries out state-sponsored cyber-espionage on Beijing’s behalf, this summer compromised an unnamed telecommunications provider to monitor the messaging activity of high-ranking individuals of interest to the Chinese government, according to FireEye. Chinese hackers primarily have been scanning for military or intelligence keywords, tracking how subjects are reacting to protests, such as those in Hong Kong, and analyzing victims’ opinions of world leaders, Steve Stone, advanced practices director at FireEye, told CyberScoop.

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