China Accused of Cyber Hack on NATO Ally

( – The UK has accused China of hacking its electoral register and attempting to steal details of millions of voters. The cyber attack occurred in 2021 but only came to light as Members of Parliament (MPs) debated how the country would respond. A government statement also declared that the Chinese state-associated Advanced Persistent Threat Group 31 (APT31) had targeted the email accounts of MPs, particularly those noted for outspoken opposition to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It reassured lawmakers that none of their accounts had been compromised.

The government likewise told 40 million voters that their data was safe and that no elections had been compromised.

On March 25, Deputy Prime Minster Oliver Dowden announced sanctions against China and said he would summon the Chinese ambassador to explain the situation. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the communist nation as the “greatest state-based challenge to our national security.”

Nevertheless, some Parliamentarians from Sunak’s ruling Conservative Party said the measures did not go far enough, and even accused the Prime Minister of appeasement comparable to Neville Chamberlain’s approach to Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick called the government’s response “feeble,” while ex-home secretary Suella Braverman said China must be listed on a formal register of Britain’s enemies.

The United States has simultaneously said it will impose fresh sanctions. Two companies, Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science and Technology Company Ltd., are accused by Washington of serving as “fronts” for “multiple malicious cyber operations.”

The Department of Justice has furthermore filed charges against two individuals, Zhao Guangzong and Ni Gaobin, whom it alleges have used cyber attacks to undermine the security of crucial American infrastructure, particularly in the energy, aerospace, and defense sectors.

In more recent developments, New Zealand has joined the list of nations accusing China of targeting its Parliament. The Government Communications Security Bureau announced it had established a link between a People’s Republic of China state-sponsored actor and hacking activity at its Parliamentary buildings in the capital, Wellington, in 2021.

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