Britain to Address Chinese Cyber Threats

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.25 - 2024 11:34 AM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The UK government is set to expose details of cybersecurity threats from China.

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The UK government is set to reveal details regarding the cybersecurity threat posed by China, potentially including accusations against Beijing for hacking the British electoral watchdog.

This comes amidst rising concerns over interference ahead of the anticipated elections later this year, as reported by Reuters.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden is expected to present a statement to Parliament on the matter, with speculations about potential sanctions and reprisals yet to be confirmed.

Growing Concerns Over Espionage

Concerns over China's purported spying activities in the UK have intensified, especially following the arrest of a parliamentary researcher last year, accused of espionage for China.

Several British MPs, known for their critical stance towards China, are scheduled for a security briefing by the parliament's security head this Monday.

Additionally, before Deputy Prime Minister Dowden's upcoming parliamentary address, UK media sources suggest that the government will attribute a 2021 hack on the Electoral Commission to Beijing, a breach that exposed voter information to unauthorized parties.

Escalating Security Measures

Last year, the British government highlighted that Chinese intelligence efforts were increasingly targeting UK officials across politics, defense, and industry to extract sensitive information.

The Chinese embassy in London, when asked for comments, remained silent.

The Chinese embassy previously accused the UK of "making groundless accusations" when the head of MI5 detailed China's extensive espionage operations, described as being on an "epic scale."

MI5, the UK's internal security service, reports a significant increase in its investigations of Chinese activities, now conducting seven times the amount conducted in 2018, with plans to expand further. Highlighting the growing concern, MI5 issued an uncommon alert in 2022 to inform MPs about a suspected Chinese operative engaged in political meddling within the UK.