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China's 'Cloud Hopper' Hacked Eight Tech Service Companies

Chinese hackers broke into the networks of multiple large technology service providers across the globe and stole commercial secrets as part of a global hacking campaign dubbed Cloud Hopper, according to an exclusive report from Reuters

The attack, which “exploited weaknesses in those companies, their customers and the Western system of technological defense,” according to Reuters, has been attributed to China by the U.S. and its allies.

Among those reportedly impacted in the large-scale attack were Ericsson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM.

“Also compromised by Cloud Hopper, Reuters has found: Fujitsu, Tata Consultancy Services, NTT Data, Dimension Data, Computer Sciences Corporation and DXC Technology. HPE spun-off its services arm in a merger with Computer Sciences Corporation in 2017 to create DXC.”

As a result, more organizations that are part of the supply chains or customers of these service providers were also impacted, including Sabre, a leading travel reservation system that manages plane bookings in the US.  Huntington Ingalls Industries was also a victim. The company is reportedly the largest shipbuilder for the U.S. Navy.

“This was the theft of industrial or commercial secrets for the purpose of advancing an economy,” Australia's former national cybersecurity adviser Alastair MacGibbon told Reuters. “The lifeblood of a company.”

China is making no effort to conceal its strategy for information dominance, said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer for Carbon Black. “This strategy was developed during the first Gulf War and a cornerstone of it is to conduct island hopping from [managed service providers] and telcos into their corporate client networks. Carbon Black research shows that island hopping is exploding and occurring 50% of the time as corporate brands are being used to target their clients.

“The systemic theft of intellectual property is coupled with the colonization of sensitive corporate networks, which allows the Chinese to become telepathic. The irony is Chinese hacking has dramatically increased as a reaction to the trade war. The overt colonization continues."

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