LinkedIn: Germany spy agency alleges Chinese intrusion

German intelligence unmasks alleged covert Chinese social media ...

German spy agency warns of Chinese LinkedIn espionage

"Social networks, especially LinkedIn, are being used in an ambitious manner to gather information and for recruitment", BfV president said.

China has denied using LinkedIn to infiltrate political and business circles in Germany, following claims from German intelligence services that 10,000 of its citizens were targeted by Chinese spies.

Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of BfV has guaranteed that Chinese intelligence specialists camouflaged as advisors, or researchers are working through long range informal communication destinations particularly LinkedIn to focus on the higher authorities.

There was no evidence that Chen is a real person and her profile picture was borrowed from an online fashion catalogue the intelligence agency said, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

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"This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate in particular parliaments, ministries, and government agencies".

BfV has additionally uncovered that these Chinese intelligence agencies are mimicking methodologies of different associations like the Association France Euro-Chine and Global View Strategic Consulting. "This gives the attacker an even better disguise than before".

Some of the accounts used for espionage are "Allen Liu", who is mentioned as a human resources manager at economic consultancy firm, and "Lily Wu", who is mentioned as a think tank of eastern China.

China fired back on Monday, accusing the agency of undermining bilateral relations. The ministry added that such allegations were "completely groundless" and that the BfV was "chasing the wind and clutching at shadows", according to the Financial Times.

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In October, the Czech Republic's Security Information Service (SIS) warned that Chinese spying increased in the past year, using available information networks to promote interests in the European Union country, including attempting to suppress concerns about Tibet.

In July, Germany's BfV warned that foreign governments, including China, Russia and Turkey, have bolstered industrial espionage efforts in the country, amounting to billions of euros in costs to the German economy each year.

Several of the profiles reviewed as part of a nine-month study into Chinese social media-based espionage operations by Reuters also found connections to senior diplomats and politicians from a number of other European countries.

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