China Debunks Claims of Cyber Espionage in the Netherlands

China cyber espionage

This article was last updated on February 7, 2024

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Preposterous Accusations, Unsubstantiated Claims

China has vigorously refuted accusations of executing cyber attacks targeting Dutch Defense Ministry computer networks. A statement from the Chinese embassy in the Netherlands was issued, through their website, denying these allegations and labeling them as “destructive concoctions and unsupported accusations.” The Chinese embassy asserts a rigid stance against cyber attacks, condemning such activities in any form or fashion. The statement affirms, “We will not tolerate any country or individual partaking in such illicit activities on Chinese infrastructure.”

Advocating for Cybersecurity through Cooperation

Emphasizing their commitment to preserving cybersecurity, the Chinese government underlines the importance of dialogue and collaboration in achieving this goal. The stance reflects how China views cybersecurity as a collective responsibility that needs global cooperation and understanding.

Unfounded Suspicions of Malware Espionage

The embassy’s statement comes as a response to allegations by the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) of the Netherlands. The MIVD suggested that the Chinese government has been engaging in cyber espionage, targeting computer networks within the country, including those of the Defense Ministry. Outgoing Dutch Defense Minister Ollongren revealed these accusations, stating, “We are surfacing this information to alert other entities.” According to the MIVD, China reportedly engaged in these clandestine operations through a ‘malware’ that was concealed within the cybersecurity framework provided by Fortinet, a multinational corporation providing cybersecurity solutions.

Dialogue and Clear Boundaries: The Way Forward

The Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry communicated its ‘outrage’ to the Chinese ambassador prior to the MIVD’s announcement. They emphasized the significance of open discussion, clear, mutually respected boundaries and information sharing among allies. “We have also communicated with our EU and NATO partners and shared our technical assessments to contribute towards our shared resilience,” mentioned a representative from the Dutch Ministry.

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