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China attempts to 'recruit spies using LinkedIn'

(Image credit: Image Credit: Kim Britten / Shutterstock)

Germany has accused China of engaging in cyber-espionage, namely trying to recruit high ranking German politicians as informants through fake LinkedIn profiles.

According to the BBC (opens in new tab), at least 10,000 Germans have been targeted by a number of fake profiles, some of which are Allen Liu, alleged human resources manager at an economic consultancy, and Lily Wu, who should be working at a think tank in eastern China.

Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, or BfV, says both accounts are fake, the people don't exist, and that it contacted those who it thinks were targets.

BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen says this goes to show just how active China is in its attempt to subvert top-level German politics. "This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate in particular parliaments, ministries and government agencies," he said.

China has not yet made any comment regarding these accusations. However, the company has been accused of similar behaviour before and has always denied the allegations.

Last year, the BfV said it spotted an 'increasingly aggressive cyber-espionage' whose goal was to try and influence the company's parliamentary elections, which took place in September.

That time around, however, the BfV accused Russians, saying 'Fancy Bear', aka APT28, was behind the attacks.

Image Credit: Kim Britten / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.