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Australia, backed by the United States and the United Kingdom, has officially accused a Chinese state-sponsored spy agency of engaging in cyber espionage activities.

The accusations, which Beijing vehemently denies, involve the Australian government identifying a group known as APT40, linked to China’s Ministry of State Security, as responsible for extensive hacking operations. These hackers reportedly targeted outdated yet sensitive networks within government and business sectors, aiming to extract valuable information.

This development marks Australia’s first direct attribution of cyber espionage to a Chinese state-sponsored entity. In a statement, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said, “The Albanese government is committed to defending Australian organizations and individuals in the cyber domain, which is why, for the first time, we are leading this type of cyber attribution.”

China pushes back:
In response to Australia’s accusations, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian said,We are firmly opposed to such repeated hypes about so-calledChinese cyberattacks’ aimed to smear and frame China on cybersecurity.

Lin also questioned the timing of the report, saying, “Since the accusation emerged, some Chinese institutions have released multiple analysis reports including an analysis report on relevant US APT groups, revealing in detail how the US government has long been spreading disinformation, hyping up so-called ‘Chinese cyberattacks threat,’ while using its tech predominance to carry out massive cyberspace surveillance all over the world. However, the US still hasn’t answered our question: Who’s behind the scene of the surveillance on its allies and partners and the worldwide indiscriminate cyberattacks? Who’s responsible for a global cyber deterrence strategy? Who’s the greatest threat to global cyber security? I believe the international community knows well what the answer should be.” He continued,”Just yesterday, we stated China’s position on the US disinformation campaign against China in which the US frames China for being responsible for “Volt Typhoon.” And within 24 hours, this report about “Chinese cyberattacks” appeared. Such coincidence makes people wonder if certain country is acting behind the scene to divert attention.”


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