Cyber-attacks linked to Chinese spy agencies are increasing, say analysts

Cyber-attacks linked to Chinese intelligence agencies are increasing in capability and frequency as they seek to test foreign government responses, analysts have warned in the wake of revelations about a mass hacking of UK data.

On Tuesday, the UK and US governments accused hacking group Advanced Persistent Threat 31 (APT 31), backed by China’s government spy agency, of conducting a years-long cyber-attack campaign, targeting politicians, national security officials, journalists and businesses. The UK said the hackers had potentially gained access to information on tens of millions of UK voters held by the Electoral Commission, as well as for cyber-espionage targeting lawmakers who have been outspoken about threats from China.

Both the US and UK governments announced sanctions against linked Chinese companies and individuals.

Also on Tuesday, the New Zealand government said it had raised concerns with the Chinese government about its involvement in an attack which targeted the country’s parliamentary entities in 2021.

Analysts told the Guardian there were clear signs of an increase in cyber-attacks which appeared to be conducted by Chinese actors, often with links to China’s intelligence agencies and government.

“Some of the hacking groups are information security firms contracted to Chinese intelligence units to carry out attacks on specific targets, such as the recent case of iSoon Information,” said analyst Chung Che, from Taiwan-based cyber threat analysis firm T5.

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Source: The Guardian