As part of its ongoing OpChina campaign, Anonymous hackers have targeted Chinese government websites, posting the stolen data online.
News of the attack broke on Wednesday, when RevolutionSec - a group believed to be associated with the larger Anonymous collective - issued statements claiming to have successfully breached a Chinese government trade site.
The information was released via two Pastebin statements linked RevolutionSec's opening tweets. The allegedly leaked data included the usernames and encrypted passwords of over 8,000 accounts.
Credited as a part of OpChina, the links were subsequently tweeted by several Twitter accounts associated with Anonymous, many repeating RevolutionSec's: "Bring down the great firewall of china" call to arms.
Officially called The Golden Shield Project, the term Great Firewall refers to China's widely criticized Internet censorship policies. Started in 1998 by China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the project has gradually granted Chinese authorities the ability to block public access to a number of websites.
Currently the project allows Chinese authorities to block any site associated with "outlaw" or suppressed groups, any news outlets reporting negatively about the Chinese government, sites hosting content the authorities deem obscene or pornographic, sites related to the Dalai Lama and any site housing "subversive" content.
As well as attacks on its censorship policies, China has also been accused of state-sponsored hacking on several occasions. In the past China is believed to have been behind attacks on numerous corporations, governments and agencies including Google, the EU commission and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Chinese Embassy in London didn't respond to requests for comment.