US and UK slam grave allegations of cyber espionage against Chinese Hacking Group

The United States and the United Kingdom accuse China of cyberespionage, imposing sanctions on hacking group APT31 and related entities, escalating tensions between the nations.

By Raunak Bose
New Update
The US and the UK accuse Chinese company of cyberespionage

The US and the UK accuse Chinese company of cyberespionage

The relations between two of the biggest economies in the world, the United States and China are set to be strained further with the former accusing the latter of Cyber espionage. The United Kingdom has also accused China of the same, and the two countries have similar trajectories in handling the situation.

The US and the UK have imposed sanctions and filed charges each of their own against the hacking group Advanced Persistent Threat 31 or "APT31." The impact of Cyber espionage has been such that it has affected millions of citizens from both countries including leading dignitaries, lawmakers, and journalists. 

US and UK imposed sanctions on a Chinese Company

The US and the UK have labelled APT31 as one of the important cogs of China's Ministry of State Security. This potentially means that the data hacked by the organisation could land in the hands of the Chinese government, something which the UK and the US are trying to stop by hook or crook. 

According to US officials, the hacking organisation have been in operation for more than a decade and has managed to jeopardize data from prominent US companies ranging from the steel sector to the telecom industry where they compromised one of the leading 5G mobile companies. The hackers have done a thorough job and even managed to target the spouses of top government officials. 

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco
Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco (Image via Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

The US alleged that the hacking was done to suppress the criticism of the Chinese regime and potentially steal secrets from Western countries. Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the motive was to "repress critics of the Chinese regime, compromise government institutions, and steal trade secrets," as reported by Reuters

The United States Treasury Department has already imposed sanctions on Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science, a firm believed to be well-connected to the Chinese ministry. Along with this, two Chinese nationals have also suffered the same fate. The British even alleged that another Chinese company was behind the hacking of their electoral watchdog. 

However, Chinese diplomats in both countries have refuted all such claims of Cyber espionage on their part and have called these "completely fabricated and malicious slanders." Amidst the growing tensions between the two countries, it remains to be seen what further steps the United States will embark upon to solidify its stance on cyber espionage. 

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