China rejects cyberattack accusations as ‘attempts at defamation and slander’

China rejects cyberattack accusations as ‘attempts at defamation and slander’

China has rejected allegations that a Chinese state-backed cyber espionage group has targeted Australia and several other countries.
At a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said China was “firmly opposed to such repeated hype” about Chinese cyberattacks and said they were aimed at smearing and framing China’s cybersecurity record.
The background: On Tuesday, the Australian government became the first to publicly attribute malicious cyber activity to the Chinese state-sponsored group APT40.
The group was identified in a joint advisory with Australia’s Five Eyes allies – New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom – as well as security agencies from Germany, Japan and South Korea.
Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance formalized after World War II, whose members cooperate on security surveillance and information sharing.

APT stands for Advanced Persistent Threat and assessments have revealed that the group is conducting malicious cyber operations on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security.

The key quote: “We urge relevant parties to open their eyes and make the right decision, rather than being trapped at their own expense.” — Lin Jian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
What else to know: According to the advisory, APT40 has repeatedly targeted Australian networks as well as government and private networks in the region.
The advisory details two case study examples of attacks, including the compromise of an organisation’s network and the alleged theft of hundreds of usernames and passwords from an Australian entity.
What happens now: Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said all Australians should read and follow detection and mitigation recommendations.
“Computer intrusions by foreign governments are one of the most significant threats we face,” she said.
“Every day, our intelligence agencies work tirelessly to identify and disrupt these actors.”