Australia has been suffering a spate of cyberattacks by the Chinese regime, impacting the country’s entire economy, after the Australian prime minister called for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19 in April 2020, according to the CEO of a cybersecurity firm working with the Australian government.
According to a Bloomberg report, Robert Potter, CEO of cybersecurity firm “Internet 2.0,” said China conducted countless scans looking for vulnerabilities it could use against Australia as a form of retaliation for calling for an international investigation into the CCP virus.
“China’s cyber reach is detectable on almost every government server,” Potter said, adding that “it isn’t subtle and it increases and decreases in a way that correlates to our overall relationship.”
The severity of the attacks prompted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to declare in June 2020 that a cyber operator was targeting various sectors, including all levels of government. Although he refused to attribute the hacks to communist China, people with knowledge of the situation stated unofficially that the Chinese regime was behind it.
Relations between Australia and China have become increasingly strained, as the Western country has been trying to contain the advance of the Asian giant through legislation, especially in the acquisition of key and critical infrastructures for the country.
Australia was the first country to close the door to 5G technology from China. It banned Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. from bidding to install any type of telecommunications service, including the controversial 5G.
Botnet scans, along with cyberattacks, reportedly targeted Parliament’s email network, the Bureau of Meteorology, and the Defense and Health departments. Also hacked were the Australian federal government’s education and finance departments, numerous businesses, and universities.
“I haven’t been able to identify another country that had pressure placed on it over such a broad range of areas,” said Hugh White, a former intelligence officer and current professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University.
He further added that for him, the Chinese are looking for ways to show the rest of Asia “what is at stake” in deciding on “how they position themselves in relation to the U.S. and China.”
The Chinese regime denied the allegations about the cyberattacks. Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said that on the contrary, they are “staunch defenders” of cybersecurity.
Meanwhile, Chinese diplomats in Canberra, Australia’s capital, say the Australian government is pandering to the U.S., and by what could be interpreted as a warning, suggested that perhaps Chinese students and tourists might stop bringing millions of dollars in revenue to Australia and stop patronizing a country that is no friend of China, according to Bloomberg.
As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the Chinese embassy in Canberra accused Australia of “poisoning bilateral relations.” And it let slip a list of complaints about what the Chinese regime considered grievances by Australia, which included complaints about the banning of Huawei, about the request for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, the cancellation of academic visas, and the blocking of 10 Chinese investment agreements.
The retaliation being imparted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) against Australia due to the numerous requests for an international investigation into the origin of the virus shows the mafia-like nature of the Chinese regime and the consequences faced by nations around the world that hinder or pose a threat to its purposes.