Hacker claims Chinese defense contractor breach

Hacker claims Chinese defense contractor breach

Summary: update Hacker under pseudonym "Hardcore Charlie" claims responsibility for breaching network of China's National Electronics Import & Export Corporation and stole documents to post online, report states, but company refutes claims of attack.

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update A hacker posted thousands of internal documents which he obtained by breaching the network of China's National Electronics Import & Export Corporation (CEIEC), a Chinese company with defense contracts. The latter has since issued a statement refuting the attack.

According toReuters Wednesday, the hacker, under the pseudonym Hardcore Charlie told the newswire that he had posted documents ranging from purported U.S. military transport information to internal reports about business matters on several file-sharing sites. However, the authenticity of the documents could not be independently confirmed.

Hardcore Charlie also said that he was a 40-year-old Hispanic man in a country near the United States. He stated that did not have strong political learnings, but was concerned that the Chinese company had access to material on the U.S. war effort against Afghanistan, as some of the documents suggested.

He added that he planned to "explore" the computer networks of other Chinese companies.

In e-mail and Twitter conversations with Reuters, Hardcore Charlie said that he worked with others, in particular an associate under the username YamaTough, on Twitter to crack the e-mail passwords which got him into the CEIEC. The hacker also said he was a friend of Hector Xavier Monsegur, the leader and informant of hacktivist group, Lulzsec who was recently arrested with five other hackers from Anonymous and its offshoot organization.

YamaTough had recently stolen and released the source code for old versions of Symantec's security products, and was involved in posting fake documents from Indian military intelligence, mixed with genuine documents, online.

This raises the possibility that Hardcore Charlie had pursued a similar strategy in posting the alleged CEIEC documents, the newswire noted. 

The CEIEC has since issued a statement on Apr. 6, stating that the information reported is "totally groundless, highly subjective and defamatory". The company also stated that it reserves the right to take legal action against the relevant individuals and institutions responsible for the reporting of the issue.

Topics: Networking, Data Management, Security, China

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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