A database containing information about nearly 2.4 million individuals around the world compiled by Zhenhua, a Chinese contractor with ties to PLA, leaked
A database that was compiled through spying and espionage got leaked. The database is said to contain names and details of whos who from around the world and was compiled by Zhenhua Data, a Chinese Communist Party contractor with deep contacts to PLA and CCP.
Zhenhua has the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party among its main clients. Information collected includes dates of birth, addresses, marital status, along with photographs, political associations, relatives, and social media IDs.
The leaked database contains information of nearly 2.4 million individuals from around the world and includes software entrepreneurs, mining company executives, and celebrities, former military, and political leaders. The database is especially damaging to Australia as it affects nearly 35000 Australians including their Prime Minister. Here are some of the VIPs from Australia who are said to be in the database.
- Gob van Ek – co-founder of Power Ledger
- Brandon Munro – CEO of Bannerman Resources
- Scott Morrison – Australian Prime Minister
- Natalie Imbruglia – singer
- Raydon Gates – Former Commander of the Royal Australian Navy
- Jennifer Westacott – Director of the Business Council of Australia
- Emma Husar – Former Labour MP
- David Oldfield – co-founder of One Nation
- Anthony Cavanough – Supreme Court Judge
- Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Atlassian
- Geoff Raby – former ambassador to China
While there are claims that Zhenzhua compiled this database through spying and eavesdropping but the Chinese contractor states that they extracted the data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. The database could mean another international scandal like the “Cambridge Analytica” that happened nearly three years ago. One intelligence analyst said the database was “Cambridge Analytica on steroids”, referring to the trove of personal information sourced from Facebook profiles in the lead up to the 2016 US election campaign.
Zhenzhua CEO used to work for IBM, and he is known for his radical positions. Reports indicate that the entrepreneur has suggested Beijing use the WeChat app to deploy what he defines as a “hybrid war,” using social psychology to manipulate public opinion on global political issues.
This information was sent anonymously to American researcher Chris Balding, who worked for Peking University until 2018 when he decided to return to the U.S. In Balding’s words, China is “developing a state of mass surveillance nationally and internationally, employing a wide variety of tools and collecting data from both publicly available sources and data breaches.”