China’s foreign ministry has expressed serious concerns over the reports of hacking attacks on China planned by New Zealand and NSA in recent past. The U.S. intelligence agency tried to hack into a data link between the government buildings of China located in Auckland. A secret report named “NSA activities in progress 2013” has an item called “New Zealand: Joint effort to exploit Chinese MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] link.”
The Herald, New Zealand newspaper, published a report on Sunday with details provided by Edward Snowden which said that this project aimed to tap data between the Chinese passport office and Chines consulate. These specific hacks on China were being aimed by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).
As an immediate reaction Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: “We are extremely concerned about this report. We strongly urge the relevant countries to immediately stop using the Internet to damage the interests of China and other countries.”
These documents provided by Snowden show how New Zealand has been ranking hacks against China, its largest and most important trading partner under the John Key National Government. The Herald writes that these documents expose the two-faced New Zealand policy towards China and raised questions if the GCSB has violated the international treaties.
To the outer world, New Zealand has declared good relations with China which is crucial to New Zealand’s economic growth and future.
On the other hand, China itself is infamous for its involvement in hacking activities and was recently involved in GitHub DDoS attack. Also, China has also accepted the fact that it has a big hacking army.
GCSB’s acting director, Una Jagose, said: “We have a foreign intelligence mandate. We don’t comment on speculation about matters that may or may not be operational. Everything we do is explicitly authorised and subject to independent oversight.”
The Intercept writes that these leaked Snowden documents suggest that the so-called “Five Eyes” surveillance alliance – the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia – is actively involved in spying and hacking activities across the globe.