Chinese hacking group data leak exposes global targets

A large amount of data from a Chinese state-linked hacking group has been leaked online. This leak comes at a time when Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is facing extradition to the United States.

A massive leak of data from a state-linked hacking group in China has sent shockwaves through the cybersecurity world, offering an unprecedented glimpse into the secretive and expansive operations of the nation’s cyber espionage apparatus. The leaked files, attributed to a Shanghai-based group known as iSoon, paint a concerning picture of China’s aggressive tactics, targeting governments, companies, and individuals across the globe with a relentless pursuit of sensitive information.

The data dump, consisting of over 570 files encompassing contracts, target lists, and internal chat logs, landed on GitHub last week, sparking immediate scrutiny from cybersecurity experts worldwide. While the source of the leak remains shrouded in mystery, the authenticity of the files has been largely confirmed, raising serious questions about China’s cyber activities and their implications for international security.


The documents reveal a complex web of state-sanctioned hacking, with Chinese intelligence agencies, military, and police outsourcing their cyber operations to private contractors like iSoon. This practice, known as “offensive security,” allows the government to maintain plausible deniability while conducting aggressive cyber campaigns against foreign adversaries and domestic targets deemed threats to national security.

The leaked information exposes a vast network of targets spanning across 20 countries, including India, Taiwan, South Korea, and even close allies like Cambodia and Pakistan. The hackers sought a diverse range of data, from sensitive government road maps in Taiwan to immigration records in India and call logs from South Korean telecom giants. This insatiable appetite for intelligence highlights the strategic objectives of China’s cyber operations, which appear to go beyond mere espionage and delve into the realms of economic warfare and potential military preparedness.

Beyond the geopolitical implications, the leak also sheds light on the internal workings of China’s hacking industry. The data reveals complaints from disgruntled iSoon employees regarding low wages and demanding workloads, hinting at a culture of exploitation and pressure within the group. This glimpse into the human cost of cyber warfare adds another layer of complexity to the narrative, raising ethical questions about the individuals who are often instrumentalized in these clandestine operations.

The timing of this leak coincides with the ongoing legal battle surrounding Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who faces extradition to the United States for his role in publishing classified information. This case has reignited debates about freedom of speech, press freedom, and the role of whistleblowers in exposing government wrongdoings. While the motivations behind the iSoon leak remain unclear, it undoubtedly raises similar questions about the ethical implications of exposing classified information, even when it pertains to potentially illegal or harmful state activities.

In conclusion, the leak of data from iSoon represents a significant development in the ongoing saga of international cyber espionage. It exposes the vast scale and sophistication of China’s hacking operations, raising concerns about the potential for cyber conflict and the erosion of trust between nations.