UK Irate at China Over Hacking Voters’ Info

( – The UK government has accused China of hacking the British electoral register and stealing the personal details of millions of voters. The cyber attack on Britain’s Electoral Commission occurred in 2021, but details were not published until last year.

On March 25, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden addressed the issue before a Parliamentary debate, during which he outlined to the nation’s lawmakers that he intends to institute sanctions against China and summon the Chinese ambassador to explain the hacking.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak highlighted the extent of China’s threat to his nation, saying it is the “greatest state-based challenge to our national security.” Nevertheless, the Parliamentary debate prompted accusations that Sunak is soft on China, with former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith comparing his approach to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick called the government’s response “feeble,” while ex-home secretary Suella Braverman said China must be listed on a formal register of Britain’s enemies.

The news of the cyber attack came last August when the Electoral Commission announced that “hostile actors” had accessed the electoral register, emails, and “control systems.” However, the agency reassured the public that their registration status was unaffected and no elections had been impacted.

The United States has simultaneously outlined sanctions against the communist country and named two companies – Wuhan Xiaoruizhi Science and Technology Company Ltd. – as “fronts” for the Chinese Ministry of State Security, which serve as covers for “multiple malicious cyber operations.”

The US Treasury also named two individuals, Zhao Guangzong and Ni Gaobin, for using cyberattacks to undermine critical American infrastructure, particularly in the defense, aerospace, and energy sectors.

The Department of Justice has filed charges against Zhao, Ni, and five others for wire fraud and conspiracy to engage in hacking. US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco issued a statement saying the purpose of the operations was to “repress critics of the Chinese regime, compromise government institutions, and steal trade secrets.”

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