BEIJING (Agencies): China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) on Monday revealed a crackdown of a foreign espionage case, in which a spy tried to lure an employee from a Chinese high-tech company into giving state secrets online. After uncovering the case, the employee was given a reward for proactively reporting his suspicion to the agency.

The staffer Aqiang works at the design department of a Chinese high-tech company, and is involved in the research and development work of a national-level project.

He came to know a “fellow designer” who used the name “Anying Dark” through an online forum, and the two soon became friends.

In chats, Dark often shared advanced data models from abroad with Aqiang, providing him with a lot of design inspiration. Whenever Aqiang asked why Dark is willing to share these valuable “resources” for free, Dark always replies, “Science and technology has no borders, sharing data information can change the world’s technological development landscape.”

Influenced by Dark, Aqiang also began sharing the latest data models collected from the internet. However, Dark seems uninterested in these advanced data models, instead showing a keen interest in Aqiang’s daily work, which aroused Aqiang’s suspicion about this “friend” for the first time.

One night, Aqiang received a private message from Dark, who said he was facing a bottleneck at work and requested to refer to the national project data that Aqiang was involved in.

While Aqiang was well aware that the project involved state secrets, he still chose to help out the “friend” in need and shared some of the data with Dark. Upon receiving it, Dark directly transferred 2,000 yuan ($277.5) to Aqiang, and mentioned that providing internal data could lead to higher rewards.

The abnormal behavior of Dark made Aqiang suddenly realize that his “friend” may be a spy attempting to extract information from him.

Aqiang reported Dark to the national security departments, who later found out that Dark was an operative from an overseas intelligence agency, specializing in using the internet to infiltrate and subvert personnel in sensitive and classified positions.

Following a thorough investigation, the national security agency obtained evidence of Dark’s illegal activities and promptly arrested him.

The national security agency awarded Aqiang 5,000 yuan for his proactive reporting, and Aqiang’s company, in order to promote positive examples of safeguarding national security, further awarded Aqiang 20,000 yuan.

In February, MSS warned that in recent years, they have discovered that foreign cyber spies have continuously attacked the information systems of key departments and enterprises based in China, resulting in the theft of important sensitive data and posing a threat to China’s data security and cybersecurity.

The ministry warned that cyberspace has become an important battlefield for foreign intelligence agencies conducting espionage activities targeting China, and the situation is becoming increasingly complex and severe.

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