China has been under continuous cyberattacks since late February where attackers with internet addresses in the US seized control of Chinese computers to target Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, the Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.
The data was provided by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team/Coordination Center (CNCNERT), which leads efforts to prevent, detect, alert and handle cybersecurity threats and incidents.
The center has found the attacks were mainly from US addresses and more than 10 are from the state of New York. Addresses from Germany and the Netherlands were also detected. Among those cyberattacks, 87 percent targeted Russia.
An NBC article as early as February 25 said US intelligence and military cyber army were proposing to President Joe Biden the use of American cyberweapons on a scale never before contemplated to disturb internet and transport, and shut off power in Russia after the crossfire broke out the previous day.
Fang Xingdong, founder of Beijing-based technology think tank ChinaLabs, told the Global Times on Friday that using a third country’s computers to conduct cyberattacks is not uncommon, and China, with a large number of computers and active internet activities, can easily fall victim of such attacks seeking zombie computers.
The trick also hides the real attacker and makes China the scapegoat, Fang said, stressing the necessity to enhance capabilities to monitor and trace the source of such attacks.
US intelligence agencies presenting massive cyberweapons against Russia in toolkit demonstrated that cyberattacks are a national act of the US, and the finding by the CNCNERT is not surprising, the expert said.
Earlier in February, the Global Times learned from a cybersecurity lab that an elite hacking group under the US National Security Agency was found to have been creating an advanced and covert backdoor which has been used to monitor and infiltrate 45 countries and regions. Besides China, Russia, Germany and Japan are also on the list of targets.
Internet security company 360 told the Global Times that they detected that cyberattacks against Ukraine increased significantly since February and a certain type of attacks peaked on February 21. A day later, the US issued security warnings to warn domestic organizations, showing the US’ high alert and defense awareness for a cyber war.
Cyber warfare attacks not only involve intelligence information, but could also disturb and even destroy transport, energy, finance and other infrastructure. Virtual attacks are fully capable of causing damages in the real world quickly at low costs, the company stressed.
Fang urged security authorities to take full vigilance against this new type of risk and threat and to enhance the country’s capabilities of monitoring and tracing such attacks and addressing them.