Beijing [China], May 20 (ANI): Chinese hackers, reportedly sent emails with malware links to scientists and engineers at several of Russia’s military research and development institutes on March 23 in order to purportedly obtain critical data on the country’s security systems.
The emails, which were supposedly sent by Russia’s Ministry of Health and contained seemingly tantalizing information about a “list of persons under U.S. sanctions for invading Ukraine” were actually sent by state-sponsored hackers in China seeking to entice their Russian targets to download and open a document with malware, New York Times reported citing a report by Israeli-American cybersecurity firm Check Point.
Check Point’s research showed that despite the countries’ deepening ties, China appeared to view Russia as a legitimate target for the theft of sensitive military technological information, the report said.
The report provides new evidence of Chinese efforts to spy on Russia, pointing to the complexity of the relations between the two countries that have drawn closer in solidarity against the US.
It also underscores the sprawling, and increasingly sophisticated, tactics China’s cyber spies have used to collect information on an ever-expanding array of targets, including countries it considers friends, like Russia, the New York Times reported.
The Chinese espionage operation began as early as July 2021, before Russia invaded Ukraine, the Check Point report said. The March emails revealed that China’s hackers had quickly exploited narratives about the war in Ukraine for their purposes.
“This is a very sophisticated attack,” Itay Cohen, the head of cyber research at Check Point was quoted as saying. He added that it demonstrated capabilities “usually reserved for state-backed intelligence services.” The hackers used methods and codes similar to those used in previous attacks attributed to hacking groups affiliated with the Chinese state, he said.
The Chinese campaign targeted Russian institutes that research airborne satellite communications, radar and electronic warfare, Check Point said in its report.
Under China’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, Beijing has refined its approach to cyberspying,…