PHNOM PENH / HANOI (Reuters) – Buried in a long U.S. indictment accusing China of global cyber espionage propaganda, there was an intriguing detail: Cambodia, one of Beijing’s most loyal Asian allies, was among the governments targeted by Chinese hackers.
The hack, cited by two sources familiar with the allegation as the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to shed light on the discussions between China and Cambodia over the use of the Mekong River, which created a new battlefield. And Chinese influence in the country. Southeast. Asia.
The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that four Chinese men – three security guards and a contract hacker – have been charged with carrying out attacks on dozens of companies, universities and government agencies in the United States and abroad. read more
The suspects mentioned in the indictment could not be immediately answered.
China has been accused of plotting and politically motivated in a 30-page US court indictment describing the activities of a leading company run by Chinese government security in Hainan, a Chinese island province near Southeast Asia.
One of the targets of the hackers was “Ministry A of the Cambodian government,” according to the allegation, from which they “stole data related to discussions between the Chinese and Cambodian governments regarding the use of the Mekong River in January 2018”.
Two sources who are well aware of the allegations told Reuters that the ministry was the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Chinese embassy in Cambodia did not respond to two Reuters email requests for comment. In a post on his WeChat account, the embassy denied the US allegations and said no comment had been sought from Reuters.
Responding to Reuters’ questions, China’s foreign ministry said the allegations were baseless and that the United States was the world’s largest source of cyber-attacks.
A spokesman for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred questions to the Ministry of Communications, which declined to comment. Government spokesman Phi Sivan declined to comment.
“Secrets and Data”
The 4,350-kilometer Mekong River, also known as Lansang in its capital, flows from China through the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand to Cambodia and Vietnam, where it has supported agricultural and fishing communities for thousands of years.
Like the South China Sea, the Mekong River has become a frontier of rivalry between the United States and China because Beijing has surpassed Washington in gaining wealth and influence over the Low Countries.
According to the indictment, Chinese hackers obtained data from the Cambodian Ministry on the same day that the Cambodian-led Langkawi Mekong Cooperation Leaders’ Summit with China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam was held in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. , On January 10, 2018.
The data obtained by the hackers regarding these conversations, without going into details, is charged.
On the same day, according to the indictment, the hackers found a cola bear and the then U.S. They hid “trade secrets and private water sound data” in digital pictures of President Donald Trump. It said the material was sent to an online account controlled by hackers.
It is not clear whether the hydrocostatic data – data collected by Sonar and used to monitor underwater features – came from the Mekong region.
Last week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Southeast Asian Foreign Ministers that the United States supports “free and open Mekong” under the US-backed Mekong Federation. read more
(Editorial by James Pearson in Phnom Penh, Brook San Dule, Hanoi, and Beijing) Robert Purcell and Mark Heinrich
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