The term “artifact” has at least two meanings: From a technical perspective, an artifact is an unintentional pattern in data, arising from processes of collection and management. From a cultural perspective, an artifact is a designed object, with a social and material history. -Yanni Loukissas

As I laid out in the first part of this series, a large component of the Chinese educational and S&T system is designed to acquire, via distributed methods, foreign S&T. This underlying concept behind this is stigmergy. James Dunnigan outlines this further in an article on Strategy Page written in 2005. It is further elaborated on by Nicholas Eftimiades in Chinese Intelligence Operations.

My entry here into this madness was while I was busily trying to identify the hackers behind Team XeYe. Initially, I was tasked with attempting to identify the unusual nature of a company that I’ll identify as CompanyX. This company was busy developing a reputation with some very highly qualified individuals who were accredited within the US as Chinese Computer Emergency Response Team (CN-CERT) professionals and Microsoft PKI certificate engineers.

As noted in part one, this was all part of a degree program and then hiring within that infrastructure. The lead for this team then went from the US back to the PRC to help build the data diodes the Chinese use for the Great Firewall of China, more formally known as the “Golden Shield Project.” He worked for Topsec and Venustech, assisting both in setting up the necessary infrastructure for CN-CERT teams.