US, UK warn of China cyberthreat

US and British officials warned of a growing cyberthreat from China.

US and British officials warned of a growing cyberthreat from China.

Published May 15, 2024


US and British officials warned on Tuesday of a growing cyberthreat from China, with the White House cyber-director saying Beijing was capable of causing havoc in cyberspace and a UK spy agency chief warning of an “epoch-defining” challenge.

Anxiety has been increasing in the US and Europe about alleged Chinese cyber and espionage activity, but Beijing has denied the accusations.

“China poses a genuine and increasing cyber-risk to the UK,” Anne Keast-Butler, director of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters eavesdropping agency, told a security conference in Birmingham.

British prosecutors charged three men with assisting Hong Kong’s foreign intelligence service in Britain.

China dismissed the case as a fabrication. Britain said on Tuesday that it had summoned China’s ambassador.

US National Cyber Director Harry Koker said that Chinese military hackers were circumventing US defences in cyberspace and targeting US interests at an “unprecedented scale”.

US officials confronted Beijing last month about a sweeping cyberespionage campaign dubbed “Volt Typhoon” in which Chinese hackers broke into dozens of American critical infrastructure organisations, using a vast global network of compromised personal computers and servers.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Volt Typhoon was unrelated to China’s government.

The arrest of alleged Chinese spies, and accusations Chinese state-backed hackers stole data from Britain’s elections watchdog and carried out surveillance operations, have increased strains in relations between Britain and China.

Cape Times