China hacked telecom networks in Asian countries to track Uyghurs

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China has hacked telecom networks in several Asian countries. By intruding on the providers, the government of the country wanted to follow Uyghurs. It is not known which providers exactly.

It would concern telecom providers in Turkey, Kazakhstan, India, Thailand and Malaysia, among others. Two intelligence sources and two security companies investigating the hack told Reuters. The news agency could not verify which providers were involved or which hacking methods were used. According to the sources, the hacking attacks were part of a larger campaign to track, among other things, individuals of “high value”. This would involve high-ranking military personnel or diplomats.

However, according to Reuters sources, Uyghurs were also tracked during the campaign. This Muslim minority has been hunted down in China for some time and placed in internment camps. Uyghurs would regularly try to flee from their Xinjiang province abroad via neighboring countries such as Kazakhstan or India.

China denies the allegations and says it will not carry out hacking attacks or suppress Uyghurs. Last week it was revealed that vulnerabilities in iOS had been exploited for years to track down iPhones. Later, sources told Forbes that the Chinese government was behind it.

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