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Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, and governments around the world are falling victim to state-sponsored cyber attacks. On Monday, the British Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that both the British Electoral Commission’s systems and the private devices of several parliamentarians had been hacked. The cybercriminals responsible were believed to be working on behalf of the Chinese government, according to the National Center for Cybersecurity. The UK government concluded that this demonstrated hostile intentions from China.

The US Department of Justice revealed more details of the cyber attacks, stating that the same hackers targeted the White House, judicial, commercial, and financial sectors in the USA, as well as several members of Congress from both parties. The extent of these attacks is alarming, with both countries imposing sanctions on those involved.

The New Zealand government also confirmed that their Parliament server had fallen victim to state-sponsored cyber activity linked to China. All three governments reported attacks that occurred in 2021 and 2022.

A public indictment from the US Department of Justice identified the hacker group responsible as “APT 31”, operating out of Wuhan, China. The group is linked to the Chinese Ministry of National Security and has targeted critics of the Communist Party, as well as stealing business secrets. The hackers primarily used phishing emails to gain access to personal data, passwords, and even internet routers of their victims. Political decision-makers were particularly targeted in all three countries.

The Chinese government condemned these sanctions imposed by the US and UK but denied any interference in internal affairs. However, tensions between these two countries have escalated due to these incidents which raise concerns about cybersecurity and protecting sensitive information worldwide.

As such, governments must take proactive measures to enhance their cybersecurity defenses against such threats from foreign entities like China or other rogue states that might engage in similar activities.

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