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US, UK, NZ Accuse China of Targeting ‘Democratic Institutions’ in Cyber Campaign

US, UK, NZ accuse China of cyber attacks (Credits: Times of Malta)

The United States, Britain, and New Zealand say that cyber groups supported by China are responsible for attacks on lawmakers and important democratic institutions. This made China very angry, and they denied doing anything wrong.

In a rare move, the US, UK, and New Zealand accused China of cyber attacks that have been happening for more than ten years. They want China to take responsibility for these actions.

The US Justice Department charged seven Chinese people with running a big hacking operation for 14 years. They said this operation was meant to help China steal secrets and gather intelligence from other countries.

UK Says China-Backed Cyber Group (Credits: GovCon Exec International)

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the hackers sent over 10,000 emails to businesses, politicians, and journalists, trying to break into their accounts. The US said a group called APT31, working for China’s Ministry of State Security, was responsible for the attacks. These hackers broke into email accounts and phone records, spying on people for years.

Shortly after, Britain said that the same group, APT31, targeted UK lawmakers’ accounts from 2021 to 2022. Some of these lawmakers were critical of China’s actions.

With an upcoming general election, UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said a Chinese-affiliated group probably tried to mess with the Electoral Commission. However, they stopped these attacks before anything bad happened.

US, UK, and New Zealand accuse China (Credits: 

Two people and one company related to APT31 got punished in the UK. At the same time, New Zealand revealed that its Parliamentary Counsel Office, which makes laws, was hacked around the same time. They blamed a group called APT40, supported by China, for the attack.

New Zealand usually supports China, but Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said blaming China for the cyber attack was a big deal. China is New Zealand’s biggest trade partner. New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Winston Peters said he talked to the Chinese Ambassador about their concerns.

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