The danger of the new Chinese hack

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Western governments, including New Zealand, point finger at China over ‘malicious’ state-sponsored cyber-attacks

The Government is pointing the finger solely at China over “malicious” state-sponsored cyber-attacks in New Zealand.

Evidence has been uncovered by the GCSB showing China exploited Microsoft Exchange earlier this year, minister Andrew Little says. 

Little, the minister in charge of the GCSB, says he condemns the “reckless” sharing of the server’s vulnerabilities – adding it undermines global stability.

“New Zealand is today joining other countries in strongly condemning this malicious activity undertaken by the Chinese Ministry of State Security,” he said in a statement on Monday night.

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China is now following Russia. Previously China tightly targeted hacks be it military or diplomatic but what they have done here however is hack and then turn that information to exploit over to criminal organizations.

Russia does this. It gains what it wants for intel and then for pure chaos purposes hands those entry ways to organized crime to cause havoc with ransomwear.

That China is now doing the same is an advance move in terms of escalating greyzone warfare.

It’s what you do when you want to start causing problems.

This lands at a time of rapid escalation in rhetoric between Japan and China over Japan last week calling for America to commit to protecting Taiwan if invaded by China.

The mouthpieces of the CCP called on the Party to rewrite the rules so that they could strike Japan first with nuclear weapons if just one Japanese vessel came to the aid of Taiwan.

That seems a tad provocative.

Shit is escalating quickly.

Anything less than total repudiation of the Wuhan lab leak theory by Biden’s report could be the spark in this ocean of tinder dry kindling.

NZ is the weakest of the 5 Eyes.

If conflict is coming we are going to be the first example.

 

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Until seemingly now NZ has been trying to follow a ‘Munich Agreement / peace for our time’ approach in our dealings with China and just as it was found wanting in the late 30’s it is similarly being found wanting today.

  2. I see not the faintest incentive for either China of Russia to become involved in this activity.
    I believe it is in the power of cyber experts to make it appear that actions have been initiated from wherever they choose.
    We are now trapped into joining the anti China / anti Russia Western US initiated chorus that Nanaia Mahuta has tried to keep at arm’s length.
    I don’t believe it is and accident ; the timing is too convenient. China is doing extremely well by trading with a managed capitalist economical approach. This action would be massively counterproductive to her goals and completely out of step with her general way of dealing. Why would she seek a war when she is winning he peace. The neoliberal globalist capitalism imposed on the world by US financiers has backfired on them by allowing China to set up a state controlled capitalism that has outplayed them. It is the US and the UK that have an incentive to disrupt the status quo as they are drowning in ever expanding debt.
    D J S

      • Shona: don’t believe ANYTHING you read in the New Yorker, mouthpiece for the Washington establishment that it is.

        Likewise the Guardian: mouthpiece for the British establishment that it is.

    • Not trying to be condescending but I think you need to read a lot more about China, Xi, what it is doing and what it’s end game is. Belt and road, who they are sending aid to, what technological advances they are making, the deep detail on South China Sea, China’s topography, agriculture and water NZ is in a lot of danger and at the moment the 5 eyes is all that stands between us and them. Taiwan will be first and then all bets are off.

      Appeasement will not work.

    • “I see not the faintest incentive for either China of Russia to become involved in this activity”

      The CCP has made plenty of dumb decisions in the past. They’re also bound to be using the situation to shore up nationalist fervour by playing the victim

    • Certainly Trump’s attacks on China were about economic supremacy and Biden is probably as concerned about that as anything else. However, if you expect China to be acting in its own economic best interests, why the attacks on Uyghurs the takeover of control in Hongkong, the border provocations with SE Asian neighbours and the escalation of tensions with Taiwan? None of these things is designed to improve relations with China’s trading partners. With Xi Jinping, we are dealing with somebody who is coping with dangerous internal politics against his rule, and he is looking for distractions. He is also just a natural control freak.

      • All seem to be in China’s interests to me. Not in Taiwan’s and not in Hong Kong’s but these are both historically China’s territory so their interest is understandable. I don’t think we know too much about the Uyghurs and one sympathises with their wish for independence being a seperate population and religion from most of China; But to some extent they are China’s part of the ISIS problem. Many Uyghurs have been among the ISIS ranks in Syria. Russia has also had problems with this ideology as well as Iran and Iraq. I see the Chinese actions in Xinjing as being their hands on approach to dealing with this .
        I don’t think China is all sweetness and light though, I think they are capable of any level of inhumanity just like all major power actors; but I think they are pragmatic.
        D J S

        • Totally unacceptable. Totally ridiculous. Terrorism emerges out of the conditions created by the state and that goes right back to ancient Greece.

          It’s an absolute mental backflip to believe that anyone returning from ISIS camps wouldn’t immediately end up in a Chinese internment camp or worse. But kids too? No fucking way. No excuses.

        • Taiwan is no more China territory than Northern Ireland is scottish-English …british territory. In both cases it was colonisation-imperialism. Ming remnant forces fled mainland China to use Taiwan as base to harry qing China. Koxinga set up a pirate kingdom, defeated portuguese & Dutch colonialist imperialists along with pushing over the newly emergent fledgling native state that had arisen. China has no more right to Taiwan than Britain does to USA, Canada, nz or Australia.

    • David Stone: as so often, I agree with your comment.

      There’s no in-principle reason why anyone would take these claims seriously. It looks to me like a false flag attack, just like the Russiagate nonsense from a few years back.

      NZ is being hornswoggled into taking a stance against a trade partner. The US and UK couldn’t persuade NZ to join in its persecution of China, so they’ve resorted to this tactic.

    • US Republicans under Trump seem to be Pro-Putin/Russia, while the Democrats seem to like licking China’s balls. US-Republicans anti-China it seems, while Democrats seem to think Russia is the Devil. In both cases they are selling out/capitulating to China’s rise & Russia’s aggression.

  3. We are the weakest which is why it is so foolish for the sinophiles here to keep bagging America (unless of course they are bought mouthpieces) – for all its many flaws American primacy doesn’t result in millions in concentration camps and re education and organ harvesting, environmental destruction, pillaging fisheries and clogging the ocean with plastic.

    If you truly care about the environmental and human future of the globe you should beware the fall of America.

  4. ”Anything less than total repudiation of the Wuhan lab leak theory by Biden’s report could be the spark in this ocean of tinder dry kindling.”
    Soooo – If proof is found that the virus leak would come from a lab it is better not to say so coz’ China will have a tantrum and ”do things to us”. Have I got that right?
    When my four year old grandson throws a tantrum because I will not let him have more chocolate I know not to reward him for his bad behaviour. If I do he knows that screaming and yelling gets him what he wants.
    China can always invite an independent team to investigate the Wuhan outbreak( the Red Cross for example) just as they could invite impartial observers to an unguided visit to Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia etc. That is to say they could deal with allegations in a mature, responsible manner instead of being a great screaming brat.
    Incidentially when I was living in China the responses to any implied criticism of China by myself were:
    ‘OH yes – and if I go to New Zealand can I go anywhere I like and talk to anyone I like?’
    “How dare you criticise our government – How would you like it if I said your Prime minister, John Key is a horrible bastard?”
    They never believe my answers.

  5. Jacinda should lead this!

    She should get all those “Coders” from gen Z and build an army of hackers!
    Feed’em sugary sweet shit all day long on a youth training wage and provide a venue hooked up with all the shit they need to play war games 24/7 in the real world!
    That’ll shut them up for a few years and keep them out of politics.

    A harmless bit of fun for them by keeping them out of the way.

  6. Just wait until the CCP has super advanced AI. That intention is a part of what makes them the number one threat

    The ‘communist’ in their name informs them what to do, ie. take control of the world. They don’t know if communism is possible yet, but they need to control the whole world to have a chance of communism. They will settle for global domination if it isn’t possible

  7. Ron Burgundy wouldn’t be out of place in cabinet.

    Seriously this was always going to be the case when sleepy joe got into the job. The Blairite is so super keen to be part of the inner western liberal circlejerk with her mates Macron and Trudeau that she droped ol’ Xi like a hot potato.

    There will be an economic response. Look to ‘port’ issues with exports into China in the coming weeks.

    • Ron Burgundy ran National for 9 years. Subservient to the world, rolled over an had his tummy tickled whilst his minister of foreign affairs Brownstains sauntered around the globe, larger than life like the Phantom.
      Meanwhile our P.M.Ron Burgundy pushed hard with a feather on Duttons aussie returnees.

  8. The GCSB would find it hard enough to attribute a server attack to a random basement teenager let alone a supposed state actor using the most sophisticated techniques. How did the Microsoft server get hacked in the first place? Poor security practice or is the software just prone to attack?

  9. China won’t do anything dramatic as they would lose. Their GDP per capita puts them below the failed states of Libya and Iraq – fundamentally they are still a very poor country. They may have a numerically large navy and standing army but they are poorly armed and not overly advanced militarily preferring to rely on numbers. When did they last fight and win a war? Compare that to the USA who have been at war since forever. Also, it is about 2000km from China to Taiwan by boat. If China did invade they’d have to maintain an invading force against a well trained and prepared force already dug in across a large stretch of water against the worlds most powerful navy and airforce and that doesn’t even include all of the USA allies. Who is allied to China? Pakistan and North Korea.

    I wonder who’d win that scrap?

    Oh and it’s almost certain that the Wuhan flu came from that lab. The Nicholas Wade article that sets everything out is very, very hard to refute.

    It’ll be fascinating to see how Biden and the west play this one out.

    • Yep, agree Yeti, China is not well liked by their neighbours (Malysia, India, Japan etc) or even their own so called territories (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet) and apart from money and influencing individuals and downfalls of countries via economic means including cyber attacks and the new wave of nationalism, there is not as much behind them as they like to attribute. Their real asset is soft power and infiltration, but it seems to go wrong, and they are making their own people uncomfortable overseas aka spying on them (aka videoing Chinese people at lectures at NZ universities). When WHO gave them the green light on the Covid pandemic with cosy chats, WHO now they look like fools. Chinese businesses might try to control the MSM especially in NZ, but then people are sick of it and turning off media because they can see there is too many double standards in NZ regarding Chinese interests.

  10. Ron Burgundy ran National for 9 years. Subservient to the world, rolled over an had his tummy tickled whilst his minister of foreign affairs Brownstains sauntered around the globe, larger than life like the Phantom.
    Meanwhile our P.M.Ron Burgundy pushed hard with a feather on Duttons aussie returnees.

  11. A young friend of the family earns an eyewatering amount of money working for MSFT analyzing and closing breeches in infrastructure IT systems. He flies around the world first class fixing these problems. His client list is top secret because public knowledge of breeches is really bad for share prices, but I do know two things about his work:

    1. He’s been to NZ already, so I presume one of our infrastructure companies (think water supply or power supply) have had a breech.
    2. When asked who is doing it, he said “It’s all China”

    The bellicose threat to Japan shouldn’t be taken too seriously. If you followed the Chinese government’s public statements, you’d know they fairly regularly threaten to turn other countries to ashes. I believe this is mostly intended for internal consumption; to bolster nationalistic fervour whilst distracting the peoples attention from their own government’s failings. If anything, it’s a display of weakness.

    Any military venture by China would be rewarded by an international trade embargo that would destroy their economy without firing a shot. 50 years of Chinese ‘diplomacy’ has just created a long list of countries that don’t like them: They have no real allies so they are weak.

  12. Don’t worry about computer systems that are going to fail soon anyway because of lack of electricity and lack of components. Worry about the fucked-up environment that is getting more fucked-up by the day via industrialism.

    Interestingly, it is the fucked-up environment that is going to take down China (and America) fairly soon:

    ‘In China, the weather is playing havoc with parts of its economy. Many cities have been warned they may face power outages ahead as the system strains under surging electricity consumption amid rising temperatures. China’s power consumption hit an all-time high last week – up more than +10% from last summer’s record. And very heavy rainfall in the Yellow River basin in Henan province has millions scrambling for safety. Heavy rain at this time of year isn’t that unusual, but at this level (200mm in an hour) it is.’

    https://www.interest.co.nz/news/111387/dairy-prices-fall-again-us-new-housebuilding-completions-lag-chinas-weather-causing

  13. Where’s the EVIDENCE to prove this was a State sponsored Cyber attack by China? Apparently Americans think that you don’t need Evidence, you can just blurt out accusations & make shit up & everyone has to believe you, without question & just assume your being truthful! First it was Russia, Russia, Russia & Russiagate, a complete Hoax then Saddam’s WMD’s & now it’s China, China, China is to blame for everything such as this Cyber attack? Does anyone with half a brain believe this American False Flag, Propagandist bullshit? And here’s the kicker that proves to you, that this is utter garbage, their (Un)Intelligence Agencies say there is a high probability that the hack was from bad Chinese Actors, the same Agencies who bullshitted the US into War with Iraq & Afghanistan & lied to the OPCW about the faked & staged, Chemical weapon attacks in Syria! This is a really insidious form of projection propaganda where the Accuser Nation, America, projects & blames the targeted Country, China, for crimes that they are committing, it’s a heinous form of hypocrisy & hybrid Warfare that America is waging on China! Why? Because America is a dying, collapsing Superpower that’s being supplanted by a rising Power called China. In History its called a Thucydides Trap! Edward Snowden revealed that it is America that is the greatest Hacker & State sponsor of Cyber crime & it was the US who wages non stop Regime change & spying on friends & foes alike? Recently they were caught hacking into the phones of European Leaders such as Angela Merkel & others, their own Western Allies! Utter hypocrisy from a Nation of Hypocrites & bullshitters called the USA, Empire of lies & liars!

  14. The GCSB reportedly said that it confirmed links of the hacks to alleged Chinese state-sponsored actors. Presumably, it means they discovered the hackers’ IP addresses or a pattern of hacking similar to a previous attack from the same group. Given the knowledge of this group is already known within the cybersecurity circle, is it not plausible that some hacking individuals or organisations could hack using the same tool in the same pattern and planting traces of an IP address from China that could lead investigators to attribute the attacks to China? It looks like in this age of great-power rivalry, any action can be justified in the name of national interest and security.

    • And are you stupid enough to believe the GCSB, who are just a NZ lackey of these corrupt & devious International Intelligence Agencies? Edward Snowden revealed that these Intelligence Agencies can mask the true locations of hacks through the PRISM system & make it appear that the Cyber attacks came from Russia or China or any other malign actor! Also, Microsoft is notorious for it’s defective & hopeless software that’s susceptible to hackers & for all we know the Hacker could be some zit faced Teenage kid, operating out of their parents basement in Ohio. USA?

  15. Heard it on the radio news at 12.30 today.
    National Party warns government about economy’s dependance on China.
    Had to stop driving as I was laughing so much.
    National is responsible more than any other government for our economy being a slave to China’s whims.
    For nine years China companies were allowed to go unchecked through NZ buying up assets with the Overseas Investment Office as a convenient rubber stamp.
    They had an ex-Chinese Communist Party spy on their backbench in the previous parliament.
    They have received big donations from Chinese businessmen (and probably the CCP too).
    They had a (mostly) Chinese division of the National Party called the Blue Dragons.
    And Judith Collins has the f…n nerve to warn the present government that we are too dependent on China?
    The height of incredulity has been well and truly breached.

  16. Frank the Tank: “There will be an economic response. Look to ‘port’ issues with exports into China in the coming weeks.”

    I fear so. And it need not have come to this. It makes no sense that NZ would do the bidding of the US, a country that’ll put a man on Jupiter before it gives us a trade deal worth anything at all. Yet NZ has been trading with China for many years now. Surely the bird in the hand and all that? China’s internal politics are none of our business, even if we knew for sure what was happening there.

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