U.S., Britain take action against China-connected hackers | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

The U.S. and British governments on Monday accused China of carrying out extensive cyberattacks, imposing sanctions on two individuals and one company.

In a related development, the U.S. Justice Department said seven Chinese citizens, including the two, had been indicted for their involvement in a hacking group known as APT31 that engaged in an around 14-year operation that targeted government officials, companies, journalists, academics and others for sensitive information.

The sanctions were imposed on Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science and Technology Company Ltd., which according to the U.S. Treasury Department is a front company of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, as well as Zhao Guangzong and Ni Gaobin.

U.S. and British officials said the two are affiliated with the Wuhan-based company and the hacking group connected to the Chinese government.

The United States is offering a reward of up to $10 million for additional information on the group and the individuals.

The British government, meanwhile, said the Chinese cyberattacks targeted the Electoral Commission, which holds the names and addresses of registered voters, and parliamentarians.

But it said the attacks did not have any impact on the democratic process or elections.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “We’ve been very clear that the situation now is that China is behaving in an increasingly assertive way abroad, authoritarian at home and it represents an epoch-defining challenge, and also the greatest state-based threat to our economic security.”

“So, it’s right that we take measures to protect ourselves, which is what we are doing,” he said.

Related coverage:

U.S. military to strengthen functions of Japan command headquarters

Japan policy paper to focus on U.S., Philippine ties to counter China

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