German intelligence warns of increased Chinese cyberspying

By on December 10, 2017


Hans-Georg Maassen said in comments released Sunday that his agency is so far aware of 10,000 German citizens targeted by China, in particular politicians and members of government agencies. Using primarily LinkedIn, Maassen says China's spy agency has established multiple fake profiles to pose as headhunting agencies, consulting firms, think-tanks or researchers. (Photo By Bundesministerium des Innern/Sandy Thieme, CC BY-SA 3.0 de)
Hans-Georg Maassen said in comments released Sunday that his agency is so far aware of 10,000 German citizens targeted by China, in particular politicians and members of government agencies. Using primarily LinkedIn, Maassen says China’s spy agency has established multiple fake profiles to pose as headhunting agencies, consulting firms, think-tanks or researchers. (Photo By Bundesministerium des Innern/Sandy Thieme, CC BY-SA 3.0 de)

BERLIN — The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is warning that China is using social networks to try to cultivate sources of information.

Hans-Georg Maassen said in comments released Sunday that his agency is so far aware of 10,000 German citizens targeted by China, in particular politicians and members of government agencies. Using primarily LinkedIn, Maassen says China’s spy agency has established multiple fake profiles to pose as headhunting agencies, consulting firms, think-tanks or researchers.

He says China has also been using so-called “supply-chain attacks” in cyberspace, whereby they target IT workers and others to find a backdoor into the networks of organizations they’re interested in.

He says his organization has increased its focus to defend against these threats and published a list of the most prolific fake profiles and organizations.