The United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand accuse China of launching computer attacks on their institutions

The United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand accuse China of launching computer attacks on their institutions

The three countries named the hacking groups APT31 and APT40 responsible for the attacks on their institutions. Beijing condemns “malicious slander.”


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The United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand accuse China of launching computer attacks on their institutions.  (Matthew Thomasset/Hans Lukas/AFP)

A common front against Beijing has rarely been seen. The US, UK and New Zealand governments have formally accused China of being behind several large-scale cyberattacks against their political institutions, in a series of statements issued on Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26.

The US Department of Justice announced that it had brought charges against seven Chinese “A massive global piracy operation” For fourteen years, to contribute to “Economic Espionage and Foreign Intelligence Targets” From Beijing. The ministry said in a statement that this operation required sending more than 10,000 e-mail messages targeting companies, politicians, election candidates, and journalists residing in the United States and abroad. statement.

According to Washington, a hacker group called APT31 is behind this “electronic spyware”, which was allegedly run by China's powerful Ministry of State Security from the city of Wuhan. Hackers gained access to “Email accounts, cloud storage accounts, phone call recordings”The US Department of Justice said.

China's classification an “important step”

Shortly afterwards, British Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden told Parliament in London that “Chinese state actors” have committed “Two malicious online operations” In 2020 and 2021, against parliamentarians critical of Beijing and against the UK Electoral Commission. these “Attempts to interfere with UK democracy have not succeeded.” It will not have any impact on the upcoming elections, but the Chinese ambassador will be recalled and two APT31 members will be subject to sanctions, explains Oliver Dowden.

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For its part, New Zealand accused a group linked to Beijing of hacking into the computer system of the parliamentary office responsible for developing and publishing laws in 2021. New Zealand's cybersecurity agency linked a group known as APT40, “With support from the state” Chinese, and a cyber attack on Parliament services, announced by the Minister of Defense, today, Tuesday. It confirmed that the attack was repelled and the group was incapacitated.

New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon admitted to the press that attributing the cyber attack to China was a lie “not important”It is likely to hamper good relations with the country's main trading partner. Wellington expressed his protest to the Chinese ambassador to the country, according to New Zealand's chief diplomat. Winston Peters.

Beijing “It strongly protested to the United States and concerned parties and will take all necessary measures to protect its legitimate rights and interests.”A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said. In response, the Chinese Embassy in Great Britain denounced these accusations “Totally unfounded” And “malicious slander”. For its part, the Chinese embassy in Wellington rejected this “Of course, these are baseless and irresponsible accusations.”-Share him “Strong resentment”.

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