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UK To Officially Point Finger At China In Parliament For Hacking Details Of 40 Million Voters | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


In 2021, Chinese hackers penetrated the core of British democracy, accessing the personal details of 40 million voters. After over two years of probe, Britain is now set to formally accuse China of a cyberattack on the country’s Electoral Commission, responsible for overseeing nationwide elections.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden will caution numerous officials about being targeted by Chinese hackers. The UK Foreign Office will blacklist several Chinese suspects involved in the breach, The Sun newspaper said, which first broke the news. The United States government is also expected to attribute cyber attacks on America to Beijing on Monday.

Last year in August, the top poll body in the country admitted that its systems had been accessed by ‘hostile actors’ for 14 months. UK media reports said the hackers were able to view and change electoral registers showing the names and addresses of people registered to vote between 2014 and 2022. They also accessed the commission’s file sharing and emailing system, compromising the email address of anybody who messaged its staff, reports added.

‘Expected government statement’

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“Following today’s Sunday Times story in relation to China and parliament, in which myself and 3 other parliamentarians are named, a number of other news outlets have covered the story and are seeking comment and further information. We intend do so tomorrow after an expected government statement, at which point we will have a short press conference. We won’t be offering any comment until then,” UK MP Stewart McDonald said in a post on X.

Despite speculations of a delay, UK Foreign Office sources told UK newspaper that attributing the attack to China took months of deliberation. Shaun McNally, the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission, expressed regret over the breach, acknowledging the lack of adequate protections in place.

“We know which systems were accessible to the hostile actors, but are not able to know conclusively what files may or may not have been accessed,” McNally said. A group of China critics, including former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and SNP MP Stewart McDonald, have been briefed about cyberattacks on their computers by Parliament’s director of security Alison Giles. Luke de Pulford, head of the anti-China alliance IPAC group, stressed China’s aggressive stance, saying, “Beijing has made no secret of their desire to attack foreign politicians who dare to stand up to them.”

RohitRohit is sub-editor at News18.com and covers international news. He previously w…Read More

Location: London, United Kingdom (UK)

first published: March 25, 2024, 13:02 IST

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