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New Zealand’s Strong Stand Against Cyber Intrusion

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, unequivocally condemned a recent cyber intrusion into the country’s parliament, denouncing it as “unacceptable.” The government made it clear that foreign interference would not be tolerated, urging China to refrain from such activities in the future.

The New Zealand government officially raised concerns with China about its alleged involvement in a state-sponsored cyber hack targeting New Zealand’s parliamentary institutions in 2021. This comes after similar accusations from the UK and the US, accusing China of engaging in widespread cyber espionage. Both New Zealand and Australia have strongly denounced such activities.

Alleged Chinese State Involvement in Cyber Activities

New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), responsible for cybersecurity and signals intelligence, has reportedly linked the cyber intrusion to a Chinese state-sponsored actor identified as Advanced Persistent Threat 40 (APT40). GCSB has connected APT40 to the Chinese Ministry of State Security, suggesting state involvement in the cyber activities.

While no sensitive or strategic information was compromised, APT40 accessed critical data for the effective functioning of the New Zealand government. The group is believed to have targeted technical information, potentially enabling more intrusive activities.

According to statistics provided by the GCSB, 23% of the malicious cyber events involving nationally significant organizations in the last financial year were attributed to state-sponsored actors. Although not explicitly attributed to China, New Zealand has previously condemned similar malicious cyber activities linked to the Russian government.

Judith Collins, the minister overseeing the GCSB, emphasized that cyber-enabled espionage operations aimed at disrupting democratic institutions and processes were unacceptable. This sentiment aligns with recent actions taken by the US and the UK against China for alleged cyber espionage activities affecting millions worldwide.

In conclusion, New Zealand’s firm stance against cyber intrusions and foreign interference highlights the growing concerns surrounding cybersecurity and state-sponsored cyber activities. The collaborative efforts of governments worldwide are essential in safeguarding democratic institutions and ensuring stability in cyberspace.

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