Google and Meta Expose China’s International Cybercrime Network
Google and Meta allegedly uncovered China’s extensive cyber operations, revealing malicious cyberattack strategies by several accounts.
Recent disclosures by tech giants Google and Meta have brought to light allegations of China’s escalating cyber activities. According to Meta’s latest Quarterly Adversarial Threat Report, the company has removed 4,789 Facebook accounts engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior.
These accounts, which initially posed as Americans, shared identical content across various platforms, including mainstream U.S. media articles and reshared Facebook posts. Their activities covered a range of topics from politics to gaming and even pets.
In a significant shift detected by Meta in mid-2023, a segment of these accounts altered their profiles, posing as individuals based in India. This change coincided with these accounts beginning to engage with content making controversial claims about the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.
Alongside these individual accounts, Meta also removed 13 additional accounts and seven groups from its platform, tracing their origins to China. The primary targets of this operation appeared to be India, the Tibet region, and to a lesser extent, the United States.
Meta’s findings align with the views of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which recently suggested that Beijing utilizes social platforms and influencers to propagate its narrative both domestically and internationally.
Meta released its Q3 Adversarial Threat report targeting misinformation accounts from China, Russia, and Iran. Meta shares findings about three separate covert influence operations shut down for violating Meta's policies. Meta removed 4,789 Facebook accounts in China that…— James M Zimmerman (@jmzbeijing) December 1, 2023
Google Reports Surge in Cyber Attacks
Kate Morgan, a senior engineering manager at Google’s threat analysis division, revealed the company’s insights into China’s cyber activities.
Morgan reported a significant rise in cyber attacks against Taiwan over the past six months, noting an increase in both volume and sophistication. These attacks reportedly involve the subversion of SOHO routers for launching further offensives against a broad spectrum of targets, including tech companies, government entities, and defense organizations.
Google believes that Beijing backs over 100 attack groups it has identified. The company’s ongoing analysis of these cyber operations could provide further insights into the scale and nature of China’s cyber activities.
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