Hackers at China utilized bogus Facebook accounts and impostor sites to attempt and break into the computers and smartphones of Uyghur Muslims, the societal media said Wednesday.

The hackers tried to gain access to the phones and computers by producing bogus Facebook accounts for assumed journalists and activists, in addition to fake sites and programs meant to appeal to some Uyghur audience. Sometimes, the hackers generated lookalike websites nearly equal to legitimate news websites popular with Uyghurs.

The accounts and websites contained links that are malicious. In case the goal clicked one, their smartphone or computer will be infected with applications allowing the system to spy on the target apparatus.

The program could acquire information such as the victim’s place, keystrokes and connections, based on FireEye, a cybersecurity company that worked on the analysis.

Overall, fewer than 500 individuals were targeted at the hackers at 2019 and 2020, Facebook explained. The business said it uncovered that the network during its regular security work, also has deactivated the bogus accounts and informed people whose apparatus might have been compromised. The majority of the hackers’ actions happened on non-Facebook websites and platforms.

“They attempted to create those personas, build confidence in the area, and use this as a means to deceive people into clicking these hyperlinks to expose their apparatus,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of safety coverage.

Facebook’s analysis found connections between the two and hackers tech companies based in China but no immediate connections to the Chinese authorities, which was criticized for its harsh treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. FireEye, nevertheless, said in a statement that”people consider this performance was conducted in service” of the Chinese authorities.

People are exposed to torture, sterilization and governmental indoctrination, along with forced labor, within an assimilation effort in a region whose populations are ethnically and culturally different from the Han Chinese majority.