Wednesday

24th Apr 2019

China is 'world's largest hacking victim,' ambassador says

  • "I think China is the largest victim in terms of hacker attacks," said China's ambassador to the EU, Wu Hailong (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

China’s ambassador to the EU, Wu Hailong, on Wednesday (12 September) refuted a recent Bloomberg report that hackers linked to his government had broken into the email accounts of 11 senior EU officials, including one belonging to EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy.

"I read this story and I think there are many more similar cases reported in recent years. I think China is the largest victim in terms of hacker attacks," said Hailong.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Hailong said Chinese agencies and businesses are beingattacked on a daily basis but choose to keep quiet, unlike some Western counterparts.

"There is a cultural difference. In the EU, people go to the media. The same happens in China, but we do not go to the media. We firmly oppose hacking," he said.

A US-led investigation last summer claimed a hacker group with links to China's military, the People's Liberation Army, infiltrated and stole information, including attachments, from the EU institutions' email accounts.

The attacks took place over a period of four days in July 2011.

The Bloomberg report said the attacks are possibly part of a larger pattern to secure trade advantages by the Chinese. Other targets included lawyers working on anti-trust claims against China.

Wu's comments come ahead of the 15th EU-China summit on 20 September.

"It is the most important event in China-EU ties in 2012," said Hailong, who noted that it will also be Wen Jiabao, the outgoing Chinese premier's, final visit to the EU as a head of state.

Some 80 percent of China's exports end up in Europe.

The summit aims to help address the brewing trade disputes between the two sides. Among them is the recent anti-dumping investigation into imports of solar panels from China by the European Commission.

The European Commission claims sufficient evidence has been put forward to conduct a 15-month investigation into the multi-billion-euro industry.

Hailong noted that a negative outcome of the investigation could have potentially damaging affects on EU industry. While the panels are made in China "the machinery and technology was all from Europe, and specifically Germany" he said.

Meanwhile, the commission on Wednesday set up the EU's Computer Emergency Response Team, or CERT-EU, in order to better defend itself against cyber espionage in future.

Commission administration chief Maros Sefcovic noted that EU institutions are "frequently the target of information security incidents." The CERT-EU will be tasked to protect institutions from an ever greater and more sophisticated attempts by hackers to infiltrate the systems.

The project had already been in place as a pilot for the past year but has proven itself effective at thwarting attacks, claims the commission.

Sefcovic's spokesperson, Antony Gravili, would not comment on the origin of the attacks, but noted that even if such attacks were "routed via computers in China [it] does not mean it is an attack by the Chinese."

Hackers stole Van Rompuy's emails

Hackers last summer raided the emails of EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy and 10 other senior EU officials.

Trump's Israel plan to 'test' EU resolve

EU countries ought to draw "red lines" for US president Donald Trump on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Herman Van Rompuy, the former head of the EU Council, has said.

EU seeks mini-trade detente with US

EU states have agreed to open trade talks with the US in a bid to rebuild relations with their oldest partner on the world stage.

News in Brief

  1. Putin offers Russian citizenship to Ukraine regions
  2. Romania adopts new rules weakening corruption fight
  3. Sturgeon pledges 2nd Scottish independence referendum
  4. Political deadlock looms at Sunday's Spanish election
  5. Le Pen in Copenhagen for talks with new key ally
  6. Trump to meet May and Macron on Europe visit in June
  7. Johnson's sister to run in EU elections on new list
  8. Weber pledges to 'block' Nord Stream 2 as president

EU migrants sneaking into US from Mexico

Almost 1,000 Romanian nationals were caught trying to sneak into the United States in 2017, of which around half attempted to cross via Mexico. Nationals from countries like Hungary and the UK were also intercepted.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Details of EU Brexit talks with Blair and Soros kept secret
  2. Weber vows to block Nord Stream 2 amid 'sue' threat
  3. 'Next Juncker' must fix EU's corporate power problem
  4. EU want Facebook pan-EU advert fix for May elections
  5. Ukraine comic-president invited to EU capitals
  6. Trump's Israel plan to 'test' EU resolve
  7. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  8. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us