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Spies for Hire: China's New Breed of Hackers

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China's Ministry of State Security personnel

Cyberhacking tactics have changed since China transferred responsibilities to the Ministry of State Security.

Credit: Getty Images

A web of front companies controlled by China's secretive state security ministry have hacked computers from the United States to Cambodia to Saudi Arabia seeking sensitive government data as well as less-sensitive information, according to American law enforcement.

The accusations appear to reflect an increasingly aggressive campaign by Chinese government hackers and a pronounced shift in its spy agency's tactics by reaching beyond its own ranks to recruit from a vast pool of private-sector talent.

This new group of hackers has made China's state cyberspying machine stronger, more sophisticated, and more dangerously unpredictable. Sponsored but not necessarily micromanaged by Beijing, this new breed of hacker attacks government targets and private companies alike, mixing traditional espionage with outright fraud and other crimes for profit.

From The New York Times
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