China hacked Malaysian, other Asian telcos to spy on Uighur travellers, say sources

Hackers working for the Chinese government have broken into telecoms networks to track Uighur travellers in Central and Southeast Asia, two intelligence officials and two security consultants who investigated the attacks told Reuters.

(MMO) – The hacks are part of a wider cyber-espionage campaign targeting “high-value individuals” such as diplomats and foreign military personnel, the sources said. But China has also prioritised tracking the movements of ethnic Uighurs, a minority mostly Muslim group considered a security threat by Beijing.

China is facing growing international criticism over its treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang. Members of the group have been subject to mass detentions in what China calls “vocational training” centres and widespread state surveillance.

Beijing’s alleged cyberspace attacks against Uighurs show how it is able to pursue those policies beyond its physical borders.

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