Intelligence chiefs of the Five Eyes alliance, comprising the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have accused China of intellectual property theft and exploiting AI for malicious activities like hacking and spying.
The top officials gathered in the heart of innovation, Silicon Valley, following discussions with private companies to raise awareness about the “unprecedented threat”, that is, China, reported Reuters.
“China has long targeted businesses with a web of techniques all at once: cyber intrusions, human intelligence operations, seemingly innocuous corporate investments and transactions,” said U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray.
This is not the first time the agencies have warned businesses about Chinese activities. In July 2023, FBI and MI5 warned that the Chinese government is trying to steal ‘Western technology’.
“If you’re working today at the cutting edge of technology then geopolitics is interested in you, even if you’re not interested in geopolitics,” said Ken McCallum, Director General of MI5.
“The Chinese government is engaged in the most sustained scaled and sophisticated theft of intellectual property and expertise in human history,” said Mike Burgess, Director General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
China was quick to dismiss the allegations. “We firmly oppose the groundless allegations and smears towards China and hope the relevant parties can view China’s development objectively and fairly,” said Liu Pengyu, a Chinese government spokesperson at the Chinese embassy in Washington.
Chinese hackers, both state and non-state, have been wreaking havoc in the neighbourhood. In August, China’s Flax Typhoon threat actor group was caught targeting Taiwanese organisations.
In February 2023, it was reported that Android flagship smartphones in China come pre-loaded with spyware employing that the Chinese population is under constant surveillance by their communist government.
Chinese have been known to target critical infrastructure of other countries. Last year, power grids in the Indian region of Ladakh were attacked by China-linked RedEcho.
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