Chinese hackers have reportedly been targeting Uyghur activists and journalists living in the United States, according to an investigation by security staff at Facebook.
"They targeted activists, journalists and dissidents among Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities from Xinjiang in China primarily living abroad in Turkey, Kazakhstan, the United States and other countries," Facebook recently announced in a blogpost Wednesday that detailed its findings about China’s “cyber espionage campaign”.
Facebook’s investigation concluded that hackers attacked individual targets' electronic devices with malware "to enable surveillance," Facebook stated in the post. The hackers breached many devices and, in some cases, impersonated websites that are popular among Uyghurs to install surveillance software.
"This group used fake accounts on Facebook to create fictitious personas posing as journalists, students, human rights advocates or members of the Uyghur community to build trust with people they targeted and trick them into clicking on malicious links," Facebook said.
The company stopped just short of pointing the blame directly at Beijing, but noted that the hackers, "had the hallmarks of a well-resourced and persistent operation".