US and allies hold China ‘directly responsible’ for alarming cyberespionage campaign | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

US and allies hold China ‘directly responsible’ for alarming cyberespionage campaign

Agencies | Washington

The Daily Tribune –

The United States and its allies accused China yesterday of a global cyberespionage campaign, mustering an unusually broad coalition of countries to publicly call out Beijing for hacking.

The US was joined by NATO, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Canada in condemning the spying, which US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said posed “a major threat to our economic and national security.”

Simultaneously, the US Department of Justice charged four Chinese nationals – three security officials and one contract hacker – with targeting dozens of companies, universities and government agencies in the US and abroad. Chinese officials have previously said China is also a victim of hacking and opposes all forms of cyberattacks.

While a flurry of statements from Western powers represents a broad alliance, cyber experts said the lack of consequences for China beyond the US indictment was conspicuous. Just a month ago, summit statements by G7 and NATO warned China and said it posed threats to the international order.

Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, called yesterday’s announcement a “successful effort to get friends and allies to attribute the action to Beijing, but not very useful without any concrete follow-up.” Some of yesterday’s statements seemed to pull their punches.

While the US and its close allies such as the UK and Canada held the Chinese state directly responsible for the hacking, others were more circumspect.