Government Criticised for Sluggish Response to Chinese Linked Cyber-Attacks

Despite looming sanctions, the UK’s delayed response to cyber-attacks allegedly orchestrated by China has been heavily criticised amidst calls for swifter action to safeguard democratic processes and national security. Here’s the full story.

Sharp Criticism

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The UK Government has faced sharp criticism for its painfully slow response to cyber-attacks allegedly orchestrated by China. 

Cyber-Security Breaches

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As Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden prepares to announce sanctions against Beijing, concerns have been raised over the government’s handling of cyber-security breaches targeting MPs, peers and voters. 

Delayed Reaction

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The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (Ipac), an international coalition of MPs and other lawmakers, has expressed disappointment over the UK government’s delayed reaction to the cyber-attacks. 

Four Members Hacked

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Four Ipac members have been hacked: Conservative MPs Iain Duncan Smith and Tim Loughton, the SNP’s Stewart McDonald, and crossbench peer David Alton.

2022 Hacks

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Ipac’s executive director, Luke de Pulford, highlighted the government’s hesitance in attributing the attacks to China despite evidence dating back to 2022. 

“Little Bit Reluctant”

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He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that the fact that the attack was only now linked to China “indicates that the government was a little bit reluctant to say that China had actually done this.”

Hong Kong

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De Pulford pointed out a broader reluctance within the UK government to hold China accountable for its actions. While sanctions were imposed on some Chinese officials over human rights abuses in Xinjiang, similar measures have been notably absent concerning Hong Kong. 

“Zero, Not One”

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He compared the UK’s response unfavourably to that of the United States, stating, “The United States sanctioned over 40 members of the government in Hong Kong, and the UK, even though we are the ones with a legal responsibility, have sanctioned zero, not one.”

“Targeted Sanctions”

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He continued, “We need targeted sanctions on those responsible, but we also need support for members of parliament and those who are targeted by Beijing. This is pretty serious stuff.”

Lack of Detail

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Junior Energy Minister Andrew Bowie refrained from divulging specific details regarding the sanctions but assured the public of the government’s commitment to cybersecurity. 

“National Security”

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Bowie told Sky News, “You wouldn’t expect me to be able to go into more detail on issues of national security. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more in the course of the day from the relevant ministers and the relevant departments.”

“Time, Money and Effort”

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Later, speaking to LBC Radio, Bowie sought to allay the public and MPs’ mounting concerns, stating, “The fact is that this government has invested a lot of time, money and effort in ensuring that our cybersecurity capabilities are at the place they need to be. We’ve increased the powers of our intelligence and security community to be able to deal with these threats.

“We Will Stop at Nothing”

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He continued, “And we will stop at nothing to ensure that the British people, our democracy, our freedom of speech and our way of life is defended.”

Beijing Battery Plant

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Amid reports of China’s EVE Energy planning to invest in a battery plant in the West Midlands, Bowie also emphasised the government’s commitment to adopting a pragmatic approach in dealing with Beijing.

“Grown Up, Pragmatic Relationship”

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Bowie stated, “We have to have a grown-up, pragmatic relationship with China. And that means looking at each of these investments in the round, on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that our security and our individual liberties and freedoms are not undermined by any of the investments that are underway.”

Awaiting Confirmation

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Amid growing concerns, MPs and peers await confirmation of individuals targeted by state-backed cyber-attacks. 

Gravity of the Situation

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The government’s forthcoming sanctions announcement signifies a recognition of the situation’s gravity. However, questions linger regarding the efficacy of these measures in deterring future cyber intrusions and holding perpetrators accountable.

Tricky Relationship

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As the UK navigates its occasionally tricky diplomatic relationship with China, the need for a balance between economic cooperation and the realities of national security remains paramount. 

Limping Along

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The government, limping as it has been recently from one scandal to the next, will have its response closely watched to ascertain its ability to protect the country’s democratic institutions, especially in the run-up to the upcoming election. 

Economic Woes

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The delayed response to the Chinese-attributed cyber-attacks has led to serious concerns that the government may not be up to the job, being so heavily invested in Chinese money to help ease some of the UK’s economic woes. 

Digital Threat

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As the public awaits the announcement of sanctions, the government’s response to the new digital threat remains to be seen.

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The post Government Criticised for Sluggish Response to Chinese Linked Cyber-Attacks first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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