Hackers connected to the Chinese government have tried to access sensitive information from dozens of global organizations, security researchers said Wednesday.
In a new report, security firm Cybereason said it had "medium-high confidence" that the Winnti APT group was behind a cyberattack thought to have the goal of stealing proprietary information from technology and manufacturing companies based in East Asia, Western Europe and North America.
Winnti APT is a group believed to work for Chinese government interests and specializes in intellectual property theft and cyber spying.
Cybereason CEO and co-founder Lior Div said the hacking group made "intricate and extensive efforts" to obtain information from the organizations.
"The most alarming revelation is that the companies weren't aware they were breached, some going as far back as at least 2019, giving Winnti free unfiltered access to intellectual property, blueprints, sensitive diagrams and other proprietary data," Div said in a statement.
The cybersecurity firm said both the FBI and the Department of Justice have been briefed on its findings.
Cybereason said it believes the attack is "one of the largest IP theft campaigns of its kind coming from China."
Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu told CNN China "will never encourage, support or condone cyberattacks" when asked about the research.
"China opposes groundless speculation and accusations on the issue of hacker attacks," Liu continued. "If the firm really care [sic] about global cyber security, they should pay more attention to the cyberattacks by the U.S. government-sponsored hackers on China and other countries."
China made headlines last month when Beijing allegedly commenced a major cyberattack on Ukraine's nuclear facilities and military, prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of the country.
At that time, Ukraine's security service accused China's government of trying to hack more than 600 government websites, according to the British newspaper The Times.
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