Beautiful Virgin Islands

Monday, Feb 06, 2023

Mystery of alleged Chinese hack on eve of Ukraine invasion

Mystery of alleged Chinese hack on eve of Ukraine invasion

Allegations of Chinese cyber activity as the recent conflict broke out in Ukraine have been emerging.

The details appear unusually murky but one Western intelligence official believes the aim was espionage - and the cyber-attack may have been broader than previously reported.

The Times first reported that hackers, alleged to be based in China, began targeting Ukrainian websites on 23 February, the day before the invasion.

That led to questions as to whether they had advance notice of Moscow's plans and if their intention was somehow to support Russia.

A broad set of Ukrainian government and commercial organisations were said to have been targeted by hackers, including organisations linked to nuclear power.

It is unclear how far this activity was scanning for vulnerabilities online and how many websites were actually compromised.

But the aim looks to have been espionage - stealing secrets - rather than the kind of sabotage operations which Russia was accused of carrying out just before the invasion, and when it started.

The Times cited intelligence documents - but the Ukrainian security service denied they had handed anything over and seemed to downplay the revelations, adding to confusion.

Some analysts wondered if they were worried about antagonising Beijing.

On Monday, the Chinese embassy in the UK rejected the claim and described the Times report as "sheer irresponsible talk and not credible at all".

Russia targeted

But some Western officials believe the story is even more complex. They claim the Chinese actors went on to target systems in Russia and Belarus, as well as Poland:

"Since late February, Chinese cyber-actors have been launching cyber-attacks against government and military networks in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus," claims one western intelligence official.

"Russia was observed to be a significant target of the recent Chinese cyber activity," they added.

The claim cannot be independently verified, although a number of researchers and cyber-security companies say they have seen some Chinese activity and are investigating.

There are other bizarre aspects: the attacks were more amateurish and 'noisy' than normal, it is claimed, almost as if the hackers were less concerned about being discovered.

And the alleged Chinese hackers, in a shift from normal behaviour, are said to have launched their campaign from Western infrastructure.

Normally, they would approach their target using servers and systems around the world. but in this case it was only from Western systems.

"The scale, timing and targets of the operation indicate a significant departure," the Western intelligence official said.

False flag

China has always dismissed accusations that it is involved in cyber-espionage and has recently been pointing the finger at Western governments, and particularly the US, over hacking into its networks.

"The targeting of both the Ukrainian and Russian targets was conducted in a non-covert way. One possible reason for this would be to try and 'false flag' the activity," the intelligence official explained.

So it is possible China was taking advantage of the conflict in order to spy, not just on Ukraine but also Russia, Belarus and other countries - but perhaps trying to do so using a 'false flag' - so that it could try to pin any blame on Western governments.

That is one possibility, but one which Beijing is likely to deny. Trying to understand what was really happening in this case may not be easy.


Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
BVI Freedom Song
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Hello Dolly
What is ChatGPT?
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Yes He Can
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
The Lord's Prayer
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Ramblin' Rose
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Common, John Legend - Glory
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You