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ZHENHUA DATA LEAK, WHO'S INCLUDED IN THE DATA?

 ZHENHUA DATA LEAK

WHAT ARE THE ZHENHUA FILES?

Zhenhua files contain personal information about millions of people across the world in a database compiled by a Chinese tech company with reported links to the country's government, military, and intelligence agencies.

WHAT'S THIS DATABASE?

Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co. Limited monitors the target's digital footprint across social media platforms. It collects information including geolocation, dates of birth, addresses, marital status, photographs, political associations, relatives, and social media IDs.

WHO IS THE TARGET?

The company targets individuals and institutions in politics, government, business, technology, media, and civil society. It also builds a "relational database", which records and describes associations between individuals, institutions, and information.


WHO'S INCLUDED IN THE DATA?

Data of 2.4 million people was leaked, of which around 250,000 records have been recovered so far.

52,000 Americans

35,000 Australians

2,100 Indonesians

10,000 Indian

5,000 Canadians

1,400 Malaysian

9,700 British

138 from Papua New Guinea.

HOW IS INDIA AFFECTED ?

The 10,000 targeted Indians include O President Ram Nath Kovind,

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress' Sonia Gandhi,

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh,

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat.


Apart from this, industrialists Ratan Tata and Gautam Adani, and celebrities including Sachin Tendulkar also figured in the dataset.


HOW DID THE DATA LEAK?

The database was leaked to American academic Christopher Balding, who was working at China's Peking University until 2018 before leaving the country in fear of his safety. He shared the data with cybersecurity company Internet 2.0 for recovery and analysis. The findings were then published by media outlets on Monday.

ABOUT ZHENHUA DATA'S CEO

Wang Xuefeng, a former IBM employee, is the CEO of Zhenhua Data. He had reportedly endorsed waging "hybrid warfare" through manipulation of public opinion and "psychological warfare".


SHOULD WE BE SCARED?

The leaked data can potentially be used by China for surveillance and monitoring purposes. It can be a key weapon in a next generation 'Hybrid Warfare' and has raised questions about the spread and scope of China's intelligence-gathering operations.

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