The Mystery of China’s Sudden Warnings About U.S. Hackers
The Chinese government recently began saber-rattling about our cyber-espionage
For the best part of a decade, U.S. officials and cybersecurity companies have been naming and shaming hackers they believe work for the Chinese government. These hackers have stolen terabytes of data from pharmaceutical companies to video game firms, compromised servers, stripped security protections and highjacked hacking tools, according to security experts. And as China’s alleged hacking has grown in aggression, individual Chinese hackers face indictments. However, things may be changing.
Since the start of 2022, there has been a marked uptick in China’s Foreign Ministry and the country’s cybersecurity firms calling out alleged U.S. cyber-espionage. Until now, these allegations have been a rarity. But the disclosures come with a catch: They appear to rely on years-old technical details, which are already publicly known and don’t contain fresh information. The move may be a strategic change for China as the nation tussles to cement its position as a tech superpower.
“These are useful materials for China’s tit-for-tat propaganda campaigns when they faced U.S. accusation and indictment of China’s cyber-espionage activities,” said Che Chang, a cyber threat analyst at Taiwan-based cybersecurity firm TeamT5.
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