China Launched Massive Cyberattack on Ukraine in Lead Up to Russian Invasion: Report
China Launched Massive Cyberattack on Ukraine in Lead Up to Russian Invasion: Report

By Andrew Thornebrooke

China launched a massive cyberattack on vital Ukrainian infrastructure in the leadup to Russia’s invasion, according to a report by UK media outlet The Times. The attack included efforts to degrade Ukrainian military and nuclear facilities.

More than 600 websites owned by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense in Kyiv weathered thousands of hacking attempts coordinated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to the report.

The report was based on intelligence memos obtained by The Times and subsequent interviews with British and Ukrainian intelligence and security organizations.

The attacks began on Feb. 23, two days after the end of the Beijing Winter Olympics and one day before Russian leader Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that the attacks attempted to infiltrate a wide array of targets including the national bank and rail authority, according to The Times. Attempts were made to both steal data and disrupt operations according to memos from the SBU that were compiled by another nation.

Russia also attempted to hamstring Ukrainian networks before invading, the report said.

Ukrainian sources said that Chinese attacks were distinguished by the unique tools and methods utilized by the cyber warfare unit of the CCP’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army.

A British government spokesperson told The Times that the allegations were being investigated with the assistance of international partners.

Sources from the United States intelligence community are said to have corroborated reports of a Chinese cyberattack on Ukraine’s government.

CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping announced a “no-limits” partnership with Putin on Feb. 4, saying that there could be “no forbidden areas of cooperation” between the two nations.

Since then, international intelligence sources have issued allegations that the CCP was considering a plea for military assistance from Russia for the war in Ukraine, and one widely-cited report said that CCP officials knew about the invasion plans in advance and asked Russian leadership to postpone it until the end of the Beijing Olympics.

Beijing refuses to condemn Putin for the war, actively censors social media posts that criticize Moscow’s aggression, and has declined to join multilateral sanctions placed on Russia by the international community.

Earlier this week, the regime’s foreign minister met his Russian counterpart in China, during which Beijing said it was “more determined” to boost ties with Moscow.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines warned in March that Sino-Russian cooperation would only increase in the coming years, and Indo-Pacific commander Adm. John Aquilino testified before Congress that the CCP sought nothing less than a new international order at the “expense of all others.”

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