China suspected of massive cyberattack on UK’s Ministry of Defence

The breach occurred multiple times, and the MoD is currently investigating the extent of the hack.

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According to reports, a significant cyberattack targeted the UK Ministry of Defence, exposing the sensitive details of tens of thousands of armed forces personnel. The breach, believed to have occurred multiple times on a third-party payroll system, prompted the MoD to assess the extent of the hack over three days. While the Ministry has not confirmed any data theft, it reassured service members about their safety amid the incident.

The attack follows earlier attributions of cyberattacks to Chinese ‘state-affiliated actors’ in the UK between 2021 and 2022. In March, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden disclosed sanctions against individuals and a company linked to the Chinese state for alleged malicious cyber activities, including attacks on the Electoral Commission. These actions underscore a growing concern over cyber threats originating from China.

While Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked on a European tour, the cyberattack allegations persisted, with French lawmakers targeted by similar incidents urging an official investigation. Despite mounting accusations, French authorities refrained from directly attributing the attacks to China, contrasting with formal accusations made by the US, UK, and New Zealand. As President Xi continues his diplomatic engagements in Europe, with planned visits to Serbia and Hungary, the cybersecurity landscape remains a pressing issue, with nations navigating the complexities of state-sponsored cyber activities.