New Zealand Slams China For State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks

The New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) said that in 2021, two networked computers used by the New Zealand Parliament were breached by hackers backed by the Chinese state. According to GCSB, the hackers were able to access certain data on the networks, but nothing important.

The Government Cyber Security Bureau (GCSB) is the premier intelligence and cybersecurity agency in New Zealand. After its American and British counterparts shared details of comparable cyberattacks, the agency in question declassified information about the Chinese hack that occurred in 2021.

According to GCSB Director Andrew Clark, in August 2021, the agency discovered an infiltration into two critical computer networks used by Parliament. It was later connected to the Chinese Ministry of State Security and one of its hacking groups, code-named APT40.

Beginning in 2009, the South China Sea area, the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East have all been targets of the assaults carried out by the Chinese state-linked hacking organization known as APT40. The organization is most interested in industries that may pose a threat to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Four members of APT40 were charged for cyber espionage by the U.S. Department of Justice in July 2021.

To make a formal protest and urge China to refrain from engaging in such cyber-espionage going forward, the New Zealand government summoned Chinese Ambassador Wang Xiaolong. When it came to punishing Beijing, however, New Zealand refrained.

Rejecting claims of involvement, the Chinese embassy has voiced its firm denial, claiming China has never meddled in the domestic affairs of any country, including New Zealand.

However, China has meddled in the political processes of many countries and it shows no indications of stopping.

Seven individuals from China were recently indicted by the United States and the United Kingdom for conspiring to conduct computer breaches and wire fraud. The accused are all purported members of APT31, another state-sponsored hacking organization from China.

According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the United States government will not stand for harassment of public servants, repression of dissidents protected by American law, or theft from American companies by the Chinese government.