Social media and other online data on both prominent Americans and the U.S. military has been collected since 2017 by a Chinese technology company that purportedly markets itself to clients in the country’s military, government and commercial sector.
The findings follow the retrieval of a copy of Shenzhen Zhenhua Data Technology’s database by an Australian cybersecurity firm that found it unsecured on the Internet, according to a Monday report in The Washington Post.
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The data cache, called the Overseas Key Information Database, allegedly offers insights into more than 2 million foreign political, military, and business leaders — including at least 50,000 Americans.
It also provides details regarding countries’ infrastructure, military deployments, and public opinion analysis.
Although there is no evidence showing that the software is currently used by the Chinese government, The Post noted that documents from Zhenhua identify the company as patriotic,