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Australia, backed by allies including the US, Britain and Japan, has accused a Chinese state-backed cyber-hacking group of targeting the country’s public and private sector networks.

Tuesday’s statement was backed by the security and intelligence agencies of Five Eyes partner countries the United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, as well as Germany, Japan and South Korea, and accused Chinese of “state-sponsored cyber”. shared understanding”. Group and their current threat to Australian networks”.

Intelligence agencies said the group carried out “malicious cyber operations” for China’s Ministry of State Security, adding that its activities and methods overlapped with those of a group.sly identified as Advanced Persistent Threat 40.

Western intelligence agencies First blamed on APT 40.Under orders from the ministry, which is located in China’s southern Henan province, it is reported to have infiltrated government agencies, companies and universities in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

“APT40 has repeatedly targeted Australian networks, as well as public and private sector networks in the region, and continues to pose a threat to our networks,” the advisory said.

The Australian Signals Directorate’s move to name APT40 was unprecedented for an Australian authority and comes less than a month after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited the country in a recent visit. Efforts to restore trade relations.

The report marks the latest move by Western governments to crack down on the Chinese. Cyber ​​security Raise public awareness of the threats and dangers of Chinese hacking and espionage.

US and UK in March Actions have been initiated. Against the APT31 hacking group, also run by China’s spy service, which targeted British parliamentary accounts, critics of the Chinese government and Britain’s election watchdog.

Last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray and his Five Eyes counterparts met in Silicon Valley. First joint public eventWhere he warned of the “unprecedented threat” posed by Chinese espionage to cutting-edge technology fields from quantum computing to artificial intelligence.

Last month, Five Eyes warned that the People’s Liberation Army “Recruit aggressively“Western fighter jet pilots help train Chinese aircraft, while Britain and other European countries have made a series of accusations in recent months of Chinese agents infiltrating Western political systems.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said it was in the national interest to make allegations against APT 40 public despite recent efforts to improve relations with Beijing. “We have always said we are engaging with China without compromise on what is important to Australia and Australia,” he said in a statement.

ASD, which runs the Pacific nation’s cyber defense, highlighted two historic breaches by APT40 to illustrate the hacking group’s activities.

Instead of targeting users through “phishing” techniques, the agency said APT40 exploited vulnerabilities in software developed by companies including Microsoft and Atlassian to breach networks, including home devices, and Established a presence within at least one network used to steal data. Hundreds of passwords.

The ASD said the hacking group conducted regular reconnaissance against its target networks to “identify vulnerable, end-of-life or unmaintainable devices”, making the first breakthrough in early 2017. .

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said on Tuesday that Western countries were “using cyber security issues to defame and discredit China” and accused the United States of “widespread cyber attacks around the world.” taking advantage of its dominant position and technological advantages to conduct espionage”.

“Who is the biggest threat to global cyber security?” He added.

Australia has increased investment in cyber security from 2022. A review of its defense spending and strategy.

This month, Canberra signed a $1.3 billion deal with Amazon. Build a defensive cloud network To improve our intelligence sharing capabilities with global allies.

Additional reporting by Wenji Ding in Beijing

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