The German intelligence agency (BfV) has blamed Chinese intelligence agencies for making fake profiles on LinkedIn to gather information on German officials and politicians. The agency alleges that Chinese intelligence used the social networking site to target around 10,000 Germans, possibly to recruit them as informants.
BfV has claimed that Chinese intelligence released a number of fake profiles allegedly used to infiltrate in the high officials of the German government. Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of BfV has claimed that Chinese intelligence agents disguised as consultants, or researchers are working through social networking sites especially LinkedIn to target the high officials.
According to Maassen,
“This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate in particular parliaments, ministries, and government agencies. The infections are difficult to detect since network connections between service providers and their customers aren’t suspicious. This gives the attacker an even better disguise than before.”
BfV has further revealed that these Chinese intelligence agencies are imitating approaches of other organizations like the Association France Euro-Chine and Global View Strategic Consulting. Those users in Germany who thought that they had been targeted are requested by authorities to contact the BfV.
The major reason for the worriedness of the German agency is that Chinese Intelligence is using the method to recruit high-ranking politicians as informants.
Following the same old policy, China has denied allegations of cyber espionage and has not yet responded to the German allegation.
It looks like the Chinese are quite ahead in cyberspying and online theft as this comes after the news of ATM skimming in Pakistan, where Chinese were found involved. Karachi and Islamabad observed a massive ATM skimming incident which affected hundreds of citizens who lost millions.