Possibility of Nord Stream-style attack in cyberspace has risen: FM
Published: May 27, 2023 12:43 AM
cyber attack Photo:VCG


The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday criticized the US for its irresponsible position on cyberattacks, as it puts the world's critical infrastructure at risk and raises the possibility of a Nord Stream-style attack in cyberspace.

The remarks were made by Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, in response to comments from US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, who told a press briefing on Thursday that the US Intelligence Community believes that "China is almost certainly capable of launching cyberattacks that could disrupt critical infrastructure services within the US, including against oil and gas pipelines and rail systems. It's vital for government network defenders and the public to stay vigilant."

US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said recently that the US Navy "has been impacted" by cyberattacks from China, adding that it was "no surprise that China has been behaving in this manner, not just for the last couple years, but for decades."

All countries care about the security of their critical infrastructure. The perpetrators of the Nord Stream blasts have yet to be brought to justice. Compared to physical sabotage, how to deal with cyberattacks on critical infrastructure is a bigger challenge, Mao said.

China notes with concern that the US National Security Agency, which also serves as the US Cyber Force Command, declared last year that the critical infrastructure of other countries is a legitimate target for US cyberattacks, Mao added.

"Such an irresponsible policy puts the world's critical infrastructure at great risk. The possibility of a Nord Stream-style attack in cyberspace has risen considerably," Mao noted.

Also on Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry noted that some Western countries and the analytics team of US-based Microsoft said that a Chinese hacking group recently launched attacks against US key infrastructure, including in Guam.

The report is extremely unprofessional and shows little evidence, Mao said.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) and the cybersecurity agencies of the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand have issued similar reports. Apparently, this has been a collective disinformation campaign launched by the US through the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance to serve its geopolitical agenda.

The involvement of certain companies in the latest report indicates that the US is using additional channels to spread disinformation instead of just using government agencies. This is not the first time this has happened - and it won't be the last - but it will not change the fact that the US is the champion of hacking, Mao said.

Since last year, China's cybersecurity agencies have released reports revealing the US government's long-running cyberattacks on China's critical infrastructure.

China will continue to take the necessary action to prevent cyberattacks that threaten critical infrastructure, Mao said on Friday.

Global Times