Cybersecurity Escalation: Britain, US, and New Zealand targeted by state-sponsored Chinese hackers

Understanding the Chinese Hacking Scandal

On Monday, the British Deputy Prime Minister announced to MPs in the House of Commons that both the British Electoral Commission’s systems and the private devices of several parliamentarians were hacked. This was seen as a clear signal of hostile intentions from China, as the National Center for Cybersecurity revealed that the cybercriminals behind the attacks were most likely working on behalf of the Chinese government.

The US Department of Justice also confirmed that the same hackers conducted cyber attacks in America, targeting various government departments and members of Congress. The New Zealand government also confirmed that their Parliament server was a victim of state-sponsored cyber activity attributed to China. These attacks took place between 2021 and 2022.

The US Department of Justice identified the hacker group as “APT 31”, operating out of Wuhan, China. The group has ties to the Chinese Ministry of National Security and is believed to have been responsible for cyber operations targeting critics of the Communist Party and stealing business secrets. The group used phishing emails to gain access to sensitive information from companies in key sectors.

Political decision-makers in all three affected countries, including members of cross-party committees dealing with China, were targeted by the hackers. The extent of these attacks on these individuals has raised concerns about cybersecurity and foreign interference in political affairs. Sanctions were imposed on the hackers and their associated companies by both Britain and America.

China denied involvement in these cyber attacks and criticized sanctions imposed by Britain and America. The Chinese Embassy in London stated that they do not interfere in internal affairs of other countries, but suggested that governments will be judged by their actions soon. This escalation highlights growing concern over cybersecurity and foreign influence on political processes

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