End of Countries Blaming Each Other of Cyber Espionage?

Iran China and Russia are the Top Three States engaged in Cyber Espionage NCSC

In our world today, countries are “united” through a world-organ named United Nations, where civilized discussions about conflicts and misunderstandings are raised. But in the cyber world, it is basically every country for itself, there is no such thing as the Internet’s united nation, there is no central organ to organize the unorganized.

It’s been a very well-known fact that powerful nations of the world, especially those that are permanent members of the UN Security Council maintains their own elite hacker team. The key here is other nations are better with their own PR than others, the weaker the PR arm of the country, the possibility of its hacker team being demonized by other nations is higher.

Cyber warfare, including its silent cousin, cyber espionage involves units organized along nation-state boundaries, in offensive and defensive operations, using computers to attack other computers or networks through electronic means. Hackers and other individuals trained in software programming and exploiting the intricacies of computer networks are the primary executors of these attacks. These individuals often operate under the auspices and possibly the support of nation-state actors. In the future, if not already common practice, individual cyber warfare units will execute attacks against targets in a cooperative and simultaneous manner.

Some countries tried to downplay the hacker team of another nation, not be seen as an enemy of another state diplomacy-wise. This is the picture probably being promoted by Australia’s Government Communications Security Bureau, as it denied that there is a report confirming that China has something to do with espionage activities against companies headquartered in Australia.

This is in full opposition to Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media’s claims of China has a hand in cyber espionage activities against their systems, they dubbed it as Operation Cloud Hopper. There was a report about the rumored informal, back channeled agreement between Australian PM, Malcolm Turnbull, and China’s Premier, Li Keqiang for both countries not to cyber espionage one another.

China is the favorite country to blame when it comes to cyber espionage and cyber attacks against other nations it does not like. However, for a country to openly point the fingers to China is basically harming itself, given the strong economic influence of China. Even its next-door neighbor, New Zealand has not confirmed any China-based attacks against its computer infrastructure.

China has denied any allegations of cyber espionage; its Defense Minister 5 years ago made a clear denial: “It is unprofessional and groundless to accuse the Chinese military of launching cyber attacks without any conclusive evidence.”

However, Beijing’s intelligence services continue to collect science and technology information to support the government’s goals, while Chinese industry gives priority to domestically manufactured products to meet its technology. This is no different from any other highly industrialized countries in the world that maintain an elite group of hackers for the purpose of national cybersecurity, defense, and espionage. There is no known end to the current picture of the world where powerful nations wage cyberwar on the Internet against one another while maintaining diplomatic ties in the physical world.


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