• Over 570 documents from a Chinese state-backed hacking group were uploaded to Github last week.
  • The documents mentioned at least 20 hacking targets, including countries like the UK and India.
  • The leaks come after multiple warnings by officials on the scales of China’s hacking operations.

A trove of leaked Chinese hacking documents might have given the world a glimpse of how widespread and effective China’s hacking operations could be.

Over 570 files and documents were posted to the developer platform GitHub last week, per The Washington Post. The documents, which track hacking activity across multiple countries, belong to iSoon, a private security contractor with ties to China’s Ministry of Public Security, according to the Post’s report on Wednesday.

“We have every reason to believe this is the authentic data of a contractor supporting global and domestic cyber espionage operations out of China,” cybersecurity expert John Hultquitist told the Post.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Chinese police are investigating the leak, citing two unnamed iSoon employees it spoke to. The employees told AP that the documents belonged to the group.

The leaked files mentioned at least 20 hacking targets, including countries like the UK, India, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia, per the Post. Besides foreign governments, the files said data had also been extracted from foreign telecommunications firms.

The hackers had exploited vulnerabilities present in software made by companies like Microsoft and Google, per the Post.

The leaked files have inadvertently confirmed multiple warnings from security officials and experts on China’s hacking operations.

FBI chief Christopher Wray told “60 Minutes” in October that China, per his assessment, is running “the biggest hacking program in the world.”

China, Wray said, had “stolen more of our personal and corporate data than every nation, big or small, combined.”

And when it comes to tackling the threat posed by Chinese hackers, Wray said the FBI finds themselves outnumbered.

“If each one of the FBI’s cyber agents and intelligence analysts focused exclusively on the China threat, China’s hackers would still outnumber FBI cyber personnel by at least 50 to 1,” Wray told lawmakers last month.

Representatives for China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI.

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