TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Hackers from China have targeted political issues and universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong, Microsoft said in its Digital Defense Report 2021, which covers the period between July 2020 and June 2021.
Cristin Goodwin, head of Microsoft’s digital security unit, noted China’s geopolitical targets, AP reported. According to the October 2021 report, the Chromium cyber activity group targeted China’s neighbors such as India, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan and Thailand on “sensitive social, economic and political issues related to Hong Kong and Taiwan”.
With universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong serving as hubs for Beijing resistance movements, Chromium was “most active against universities in Hong Kong and Taiwan, followed by government agencies and telecommunications providers in the other countries.”
The results mean that Chinese hackers are no longer just interested in stealing intellectual property, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft said it has found that Chinese nation-state hackers “target the US political landscape for insight into policy changes” and will remain a threat to businesses if they attempt to extract information about investments and negotiations related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
However, in most of the cyberattacks launched, China was nowhere near the top of the list. Instead, 58% of all cyber attacks originated in Russia, while Chinese hackers launched only 8%.
However, of these attacks, Chinese hackers had a 44% success rate and were described by Microsoft as an “advanced persistent threat”.