In yet another rhetorical escalation against China, the UK has accused the rising world power of “systematic cyber sabotage”.
In joint statements with its allies, notably the US, NATO and the European Union (EU), the British government has announced that it believes “Chinese state-sponsored hackers” were responsible for targeting the Microsoft Exchange Servers in earlier this year in March.
According to the GCHQ-led National Cyber Security Center, more than 70 British organizations were “compromised” by the hack.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO, formerly FCO), released a statement on Monday (July 19) claiming the “attacks” earlier this year had affected a quarter of a million servers worldwide.
The statement quoted Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, describing the “attack” on the Microsoft Exchange Server as a “reckless but familiar pattern of behavior” by “Chinese state-backed groups”.
Furthermore, the statement quotes Raab as threatening Beijing that it will be “held to account” unless it halts “this systematic cyber sabotage”.
Later, Raab took to the social media platform Twitter to once again warn China that it must end “this reckless cyber sabotage” or the UK “will continue to expose it”.
The UK alongside its allies has attributed the widespread hack of Microsoft Exchange Server to Chinese state-backed actors.— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) July 19, 2021
China must end this reckless cyber sabotage, and we will continue to expose it. https://t.co/sbibG9sxNT
Raab’s latest posturing against Beijing comes at a sensitive time in Sino-British relations with a Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group heading to the South China Sea to challenge and provoke China inside its own territorial waters.