A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in Singapore in this January 2, 2014 file photo illustration. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files
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Almost a year after students ended pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, they face an online battle against what Western security experts say are China-sponsored hackers using techniques rarely seen elsewhere. Hackers have expanded their attacks to parking malware on popular file-sharing services including Dropbox and Google Drive to trap victims into downloading infected files and compromising sensitive information. They also use more sophisticated tactics, honing in on specific targets through so-called "white lists" that only infect certain visitors to compromised websites.Security experts say such techniques are only used by sophisticated hackers from China and Russia, usually for surveillance and information extraction.China has previously denied accusations of hacking, calling them groundless, and saying it is a victim.When Tibetan exile groups stopped clicking on files attached to emails, to avoid falling victim to a common form of "spear phishing" attack, hackers switched their malware to Google Drive, hoping victims would think these files were safer, said Citizen Lab, a Canada-based research organization which works with Tibetans and other NGOs.Hackers also recently used Dropbox to lure Chinese language journalists in Hong Kong into downloading infected files.
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