Cyber theft Photo: Xinhua
China has condemned the US government for turning a blind eye toward Israel’s Pegasus spyware, while opting to smear China over the issue of cybersecurity with unwarranted charges.
Pegasus spyware, developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group, could be covertly installed on mobile phones without the awareness of phone users. It is reported that the spyware targets politicians, journalists and businesspeople around the world.
The Pegasus spyware case once again demonstrates that cybersecurity is a common threat that challenges all countries around the world, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday.
Zhao said that countries should join hands to cope with threats through dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality, but surprisingly, the US government, which always talks about safeguarding cybersecurity, has remained silent over the spyware. Instead, the US is busy ganging up with its allies to slander and smear China with unwarranted charges, which reflected its guilty conscience, Zhao said.
The US government was pretending to be blind to the Pegasus spyware, which was exposed as undertaking surveillance of politicians, journalists and business people, and some Chinese diplomats were among the victims, media reports showed.
China’s strong condemnation on Thursday came after unusually broad collusion among Western powers to publicly blame China for cyberattacks. Those participating included the US, the EU, Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand.
However, the facts show that China has been a major victim of cyberattacks. China captured more than 42 million malicious program samples in 2020. The overseas sources of these malicious program samples were mainly the US, India and etc, the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center of China (CNCERT/CC) said on Wednesday.
About 55.41 million IP addresses in China were attacked by malicious programs, accounting for 14.2 percent of all IP addresses in the country. The attacked IP addresses were mainly based in East China’s Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, and South China’s Guangdong Province, the report said.
Chinese tech giant 360 Security Technology told the Global Times that the hacking group APT-C-39, which belongs to the CIA, was found to have been launching a series of attacks against China’s aerospace and scientific research institutions, the petroleum industry and large-scale internet companies for over a decade. It caused great damage to China’s national security and key infrastructure and personal information security.
The 360 Security Technology captured more than 2,700 attacks launched by 44 APT hacking groups from overseas, affecting 20,000 government departments and scientific research institutions, the Global Times learned.
“The US ganged up with its allies to make accusations against China over cybersecurity. This is groundless and comes out of nowhere, and it is totally a smear and suppression based on political purposes,” the 360 Security Technology said.