China has been accused of hacking into the operations of some of the world’s biggest technology service providers. The global hacking campaign, known as Cloud Hopper, has been attributed to China by the United States and its Western allies. The goal of the attack was apparently to steal commercial secrets from the technology service providers’ clients.
According to the accusations, hackers working for China’s Ministry of State Security broke into the networks of eight of the world’s biggest technology service providers. The technology service providers compromised included Fujitsu, Tata Consultancy Services, NTT Data, IBM, Dimension Data, Computer Sciences Corporation, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and DXC Technology, HPE’s spun-off services arm. More than a dozen victims who were clients of the service providers have also been identified, including Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson, travel reservation system Sabre, and U.S. Navy shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries.
An indictment was filed in the U.S. in December that detailed the elaborate operation. The full extent of the damage done by the hacking remains unknown. Many of the victims have been unable to tell exactly what was stolen. However, sources familiar with the attacks say that the losses were extensive.
The attacks occurred despite a 2015 U.S.-China pact to refrain from economic espionage. The Chinese government has consistently denied all accusations of involvement in hacking, including in this latest case. The Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement saying, “The Chinese government has never in any form participated in or supported any person to carry out the theft of commercial secrets.”