Connect with us


New Zealand and Australia Accuse China of State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks

Avatar of CTN News



New Zealand and Australia Accuse China of State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks

The New Zealand government expressed concerns to the Chinese government on Tuesday about its involvement in a state-sponsored cyber attacks on New Zealand’s parliament in 2021, which was discovered by the country’s intelligence services.

The disclosure that material was obtained by malicious cyber attacks directed at New Zealand’s parliamentarian bodies comes as Britain and the United States accuse China of a widespread cyber espionage campaign. Both New Zealand and Australia have criticized the whole activity.

“Foreign interference of this nature is unacceptable, and we have urged China to refrain from such activity in the future,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.

He stated that worries regarding cyber activities attributable to Chinese government-sponsored groups targeting democratic institutions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom had been communicated to the Chinese ambassador.

The government announced earlier on Tuesday that its communications security bureau (GCSB), which oversees cyber security and signals intelligence, had discovered links between a Chinese state-sponsored actor known as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40) and malicious cyber activity targeting New Zealand’s parliamentary services and parliamentary counsel office in 2021.

The GCSB stated that APT40 is associated with the Ministry of State Security.

It stated that while APT40 had gotten access to critical material that allows the New Zealand government to function effectively, no sensitive or strategic information had been removed.

Instead, the GCSB stated that it believes the group erased technical details that would have allowed for more intrusive operations. According to the GCSB, state-sponsored actors were responsible for 23% of the 316 hostile cyber activities involving nationally significant organisations last year.

These attacks were not expressly traced to China, and last year, New Zealand criticized Russian government harmful cyber action.
“The use of cyber-enabled espionage operations to interfere with democratic institutions and processes anywhere is unacceptable,” stated the GCSB minister, Judith Collins.

Late Monday, US and British officials filed charges, slapped fines, and accused Beijing of a massive cyber espionage campaign that reportedly targeted millions of people, including lawmakers, academics, and journalists, as well as firms such as defense contractors.

American and British officials dubbed the hacking group responsible Advanced Persistent Threat 31, or “APT31,” and described it as an offshoot of China’s Ministry of State Security.

Officials cited a laundry list of targets, including White House workers, US senators, British lawmakers, and government officials from throughout the world who had attacked Beijing. According to officials from both countries, defense contractors, dissidents, and security companies were all targeted.

In a joint statement by Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, the ongoing targeting of democratic institutions and procedures has repercussions for democratic and open countries such as Australia.

It stated that this behaviour is inappropriate and must cease.

In 2019, Australian intelligence assessed that China was involved for a cyber-attack on its national parliament and three main political parties prior to the general election, although the Australian government never formally revealed who was behind the attacks.

US, UK Sanction China-Based Companies Over Cyber Attacks

Meanwhile, the United States and the United Kingdom have imposed sanctions on a Chinese corporation and two individuals following an alleged cyber-espionage operation that targeted millions of people, including legislators, voters, and notable Beijing critics.

The US and UK announced sanctions on Monday, tracing the “malicious cyber activity” back to espionage operations within the Chinese government.

According to a statement from the US Treasury Department, the sanctioned organisation is Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science and Technology Company Ltd. The Treasury department said it was a front firm for the Chinese Ministry of State Security that serves as a “cover for multiple malicious cyber attacks”.

The US Treasury also sanctioned two Chinese citizens, Zhao Guangzong and Ni Gaobin, who are both linked with the Wuhan company. They are accused of launching cyberattacks to disrupt important infrastructure sectors such as defense, aerospace, and energy.

Also on Monday, the US Department of Justice charged Zhao, Ni, and five other hackers with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and wire fraud.

According to the FBI, they were part of a 14-year cyber operation “targeting US and foreign critics, businesses, and political officials”.

According to US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the goal of the global cyber operation was to “repress critics of the Chinese regime, compromise government institutions, and steal trade secrets”.

UK authorities did not identify the company or the two sanctioned individuals. However, they stated that the two sanctioned persons were participating in operations with the Chinese hacking group APT31, which stands for “advanced persistent threat”.

The group is also known as Zirconium and Hurricane Panda.

APT31 has previously been charged of targeting US presidential elections as well as the Finnish parliament’s information infrastructure.

Sources: Reuters, Aljazeera

Tips on How to Prevent  on Businesses

Tips on How to Prevent Cyber Attacks on Businesses

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

CTN News App

CTN News App

Recent News


compras monedas fc 24

Volunteering at Soi Dog

Find a Job

Jooble jobs

Free ibomma Movies