US launches indiscriminate cyberattacks on global scale, including on its allies: reports
Published: Feb 07, 2024 08:09 PM Updated: Feb 07, 2024 11:01 PM
cyber attack Photo:VCG

cyber attack Photo:VCG

The US has established a set of capabilities in global surveillance and cyber weapons, serving as a pillar to pursue its goal of cyber hegemony. Cyberattacks by American advanced persistent threat (APT) organizations are carried out indiscriminately around the globe, including even those against its allies, two cybersecurity reports showed on Wednesday. 

The uncontrolled development of the US in terms of cybersecurity threats has triggered security concerns and countermeasures from other countries, leading to an increasing militarization of cyberspace and a "military competition" trend in global cyber conflicts, the Global Times learnt from two reports released by Chinese firm 360 Security Group.

Commenting on the reports, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin described the US as the "source of all evils" in terms of cyberspace risks, and under the threat of US cyberattacks, "no country can protect itself." 

Wang said that the US government openly supports cyberattacks organizations and has carried out long-term and sustained cyberattacks on government institutions, important organizations, and critical infrastructure of various countries, including US allies. 

"The internet should not be a battlefield, and cyberspace should not be a gray area where the US acts recklessly and arbitrarily. It should not be used as a tool to suppress the development of other countries and undermine international peace," said Wang. He called for the defense of the international order in cyberspace and the maintenance of peace and security in cyberspace as a shared responsibility of the international community.

China urged the US to immediately correct its irresponsible and dangerous behavior and work together with the international community to build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace, Wang noted. 

The report titled "US cyber security threat capability analysis" mentioned the US' capability to monitor and interfere with global internet data flow, information transmission and network access through cables. And the key for the US to maintain a consistent global cyber deterrence also lies in its control over the management of the internet and the international digital certificate system.

The US leads the establishment of an alliance and, with Google taking the lead, has formed the CA/Browser Forum internationally. The members of this alliance include companies related to browsers, web servers, auditing, cryptographic algorithms, hardware gateways and more. In addition, the US has implemented a filing system and established the Certificate Transparency (CT) system, meaning that before issuing any digital certificate, all international digital certificate authorities are required to file with this system. Failure to do so will result in the alliance blacklisting them, according to the report

Besides, with the global advantage in the field of smart terminals, the US grasps the foundation to obtain sensitive user data through global sales and operations of operating systems and internet services.

The report also mentioned that its dominant force in the international open-source industry has also become a sword hanging over countries with weak autonomy and vulnerable positions in the global open-source software supply chain, allowing the US to implement supply chain attacks and impose sanctions at any time.

The US leverages its technological advantage to maintain long-term dominance in the formulation of technical standards and rules in the field of the internet, the report notes. 

What can be highlighted is that the US has turned cyberattacks against espionage targets and military targets as legitimate actions. On September 24, 2019, the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea and another 27 countries signed the "Joint Statement on Promoting Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace," legalizing offensive cyberattacks and turning cyberspace into a new battlefield.

Another report on US-based APT organizations released by 360 Security Group on Wednesday detailed three specific APT organizations from the US.

One of the organizations is known as Project Sauron, known as Strider, Sauron, APT-C-16. It first emerged in 2011 and remained active until August 2016. The organization has targeted more than 30 countries, including China, Russia, Belgium, Iran, Sweden and Rwanda, with the main purpose of stealing sensitive information.

Besides, the report mentioned that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), one of the primary intelligence agencies of the US federal government, has continuously engaged in espionage and intelligence theft activities. And the National Security Agency (NSA) has conducted secret hacking activities for over a decade targeting leading companies in various industries in China, according to the 360 report.