Chinese hackers have been spying on governments for a decade

China has been busy spying on governments, businesses and journalists in Southeast Asia and India for a decade, with no one in its way, a new report suggests.

A report by Internet security company FireEye says state-sponsored Chinese hackers have been collecting intelligence on political and military issues for up to a decade.

The report was published on Monday and said the operations started way back in 2005 and “focused on targets — government and commercial — who hold key political, economic and military information about the region.”

“Such a sustained, planned development effort coupled with the (hacking) group’s regional targets and mission, lead us to believe that this activity is state-sponsored — most likely the Chinese government,” the report’s authors said.

The hacker group is called APT30, and has targeted companies in communications, technology, finance and aviation. The report said the group spied on targets in India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and beyond.

Mr Bryce Boland, Chief Technology Officer for Asia Pacific at FireEye and co-author of the report, said the attack was still ongoing, noting that the servers the attackers used were still operational, and that FireEye continued to see attacks against its customers, who number among the targets, Financial Times reports.

FireEye picked up on it after some of the malware used by the group was found to have infected defense-related clients in the U.S., said Jen Weedon, manager of strategic analysis with FireEye. The group said attacks began in 2005.

“There’s no smoking gun that shows this is a Chinese government operation, but all signs point to China” FireEye’s APAC CTO Bryce Boland told TechCrunch in an interview. “There’s huge intellectual property development in Asia — that’s the new battleground.” Boland referenced several pieces of evidence collected by FireEye following “months” of research.

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