China’s foreign ministry has accused Australia of trying to “smear and frame” its government, after Labor called out a Chinese hacking group that has “repeatedly targeted” Australian interests.

China has issued a stark warning to Australia and its Five Eyes allies after the coalition exposed a cyber-hacking group linked to the Chinese government. Addressing a news conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian accused Australia and the Five Eyes countries of fomenting the trouble. Cyber ​​security issues are being used to smear and discredit China, he says.

On Tuesday, the country’s top cybersecurity agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, published an advisory note condemning the group known as APT40. for conducting “regular espionage” and state-sponsored cyber attacks on Australia.

The note, which was backed by the United States, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Germany, was accompanied by a scathing statement from Defense Secretary Richard Marles, who called the “malicious cyber” Appreciated ASD’s work to compete. activity”

This is the first time Australia has attempted to call out Chinese-backed hacking groups.

On Tuesday, the country’s top cybersecurity agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, published an advisory note condemning the group known as APT40 for “routine espionage” and state-sponsored cyber attacks on Australia. Image: Provided

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian used a press conference on Wednesday to react strongly, rejecting the announcement.

“We are strongly opposed to such repeated hypes about so-called ‘Chinese cyber-attacks’ that are intended to discredit and frame China on cyber security,” he declared.

Mr Lin then launched a series of accusations against the US as he appeared to suggest Australia had been forced to make the announcement by its ally rather than because it had found evidence of Chinese attacks.

China’s foreign ministry has hit back after the Albanian government called out a Chinese hacking group, which claimed Australia was trying to “smear and frame” China. Photo: Getty Images

“Since the allegations came to light, some Chinese institutions have released a number of analytical reports, including an analytical report on related USAPT groups, detailing how the US government has long is spreading misinformation, exacerbating the threat of so-called ‘Chinese cyberattacks.’

“The United States has yet to answer our question: Who is behind the surveillance of its allies and partners and indiscriminate cyber attacks around the world? Who is responsible for a global cyber deterrence strategy? For global cyber security.” Who is the biggest threat?

“I believe the international community knows very well what the response should be.”

Australia has taken the lead in naming and shaming a cyber-hacking group linked to the Chinese government. China has accused Australia and the Five Eyes countries of using cyber security issues to smear and discredit China. This comes a few weeks after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Australia.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman also suggested a recent Chinese announcement denying Beijing’s involvement with another hacking group, Volt Typhoon, which targeted US infrastructure in a series of attacks last year, ASD said on Tuesday. indicated to issue the note.

“Within 24 hours, there was this report about ‘Chinese cyber attacks,'” Mr. Lin said.

“Such coincidences make people wonder if some countries are working behind the scenes to divert attention. We appeal to the parties concerned to open their eyes and stop acting like a cat’s claw at their own expense. Instead, make the right decision.”

In its note, ASD highlighted two major APT40 breaches in Australia.

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Australia’s top cyber security agency explained that hackers stole several hundred unique usernames and passwords from an unnamed organization in April 2022, while another breach resulted in access to “a large amount of sensitive data”. What appears to have been a “deliberately targeted” attack was carried out.

The ASD added that APT 40 has placed a “high priority” on obtaining valid login details to conduct follow-up operations and steal data.

The announcement was also significant given the fragile state of relations between Australia and China, with the Albanian government embarking on a campaign to mend relations after a nadir under the previous coalition government.

Given the clear desire on both sides to improve relations, some observers suggested that Mr. Lin’s pivot to US cyber activities showed that China was wary of inflaming the situation by directly reprimanding the Albanian government. .



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