English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Chinese hackers launch another cyberattack on Middle Eastern countries

Chinese hackers are gaining infamy for repeat malicious attacks (Photo: IANS))

China hacked dozens of public and private sector groups in Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries, international cybersecurity company FireEye said on Tuesday.

The massive cyber attack appears to be yet another of China's long-term spying strategy in technology and business competition, rather than a desire to harm countries or businesses.

The cybersecurity agency said that Beijing uses its cyber tools to spy on a wide range of Middle Eastern countries while doing business with them.

The goal seems to have been to gain intelligence into achieving better negotiation outcomes in terms of pricing by viewing internal email discussions and assessments.

Chinese hackers were also searching for access key technological developments.

The attack is linked to cyber exploitation of holes in Microsoft’s SharePoint, announced by the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) in 2019. However, many Israeli entities began to repel the attacks once the SharePoint vulnerability was detected but that did not deter the Chinese from spying on Israel.

The latest cyber attack by Chinese hackers follows similar attempts on the US and multiple European and Asian nations in July.

Chinese hacking and cyber-syping can be more dangerous than is believed in. They even have the power to sow discord among nations.

A separate news report carried by MIT Technology Review says that when hackers broke into Israeli government and technology companies in 2019 and 2020, the initial clues led to Iran.

"But after further examination of the evidence—and information gathered from other cyber-espionage cases across the Middle East—analysts realized it was not an Iranian operation. Instead, it was conducted by Chinese operatives posing as a team of hackers from Tehran.

The hackers successfully targeted the Israeli government, technology companies, and telecommunication firms—and by deploying false flags, it appears, they hoped to mislead analysts into believing the attackers were from Israel’s regional nemesis".

MIT Technology Review says that American cybersecurity firm FireEye, working in collaboration with the Israeli military, exposed the Chinese gameplan.

The investigators also found that hacker UNC215 had carried out similar operations numerous times against Israeli government institutions, IT providers and telecommunications entities. It has often dropped misleading clues like using the Farsi language, minimising evidence and hiding infrastructure used to break into Israeli networks.

Israeli website Haaretz says that China never admits to its culpability in cyber attacks and instead launches a counter blame on the US. It says: "However, tolerance for Chinese cyber attacks has declined globally as the country’s popularity has plummeted following its handling of the coronavirus crisis, Hong Kong, issues in the South China Sea and accusations of war crimes in its treatment of the Muslim Uyghurs in China".