Trash is cash: beware Chinese cyber pests pillaging your bin

World

Trash is cash: beware Chinese cyber pests pillaging your bin

They mine ‘recycling bins’ for trade and business secrets, including drugs, Covid and weapons research

Margi Murphy

Before an abundance of encrypted messaging apps, “trash” e-mail folders were often used to communicate without leaving a trace. The tactic, common among al-Qaeda terrorists – and teenagers – involved setting up an e-mail account which two people could access, and writing and reading deleted messages.

The technique caused the downfall of David Petraeus, former CIA director general, who resigned after he was caught by the FBI talking to his lover through draft e-mails.

The tactic resurfaced this week when the US government alleged it had caught two Chinese hackers pillaging the “recycling bins” of employees at “hundreds” of companies, stealing trade and business secrets worth “hundreds of millions” during a 10-year spree...

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