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Chinese gov-backed hackers have breached major telecom companies

If a telecoms firm becomes a victim of a cyberattack, for example, the ripple effect it has on the entire industry.

Oxford University says it will "not pursue new funding opportunities" with Chinese telecoms group Huawei - AFP
Oxford University says it will "not pursue new funding opportunities" with Chinese telecoms group Huawei - AFP

The risk of cyberattacks originating from China and targeted at the U.S. continues, with an increasing number of incidences being attributed to Chinese hackers. Many of these hackers are said to be acting with state support.

This is the view of U.S. Security agencies, who are warning that Chinese government-backed hackers have breached major telecommunications companies worldwide.

Considering the ramifications for Digital Journal is cybersecurity evangelist Alon Nachmany, Field CISO of AppViewX.  Nachmany  has been considering the motives behind these types of dangerous cyberattacks.

Nachmany also considers what companies must prioritize looking ahead.

Nachmany begins his analysis with the probable point of origin: “The Chinese government-backed hackers that have breached major telecommunications companies, is yet again another validation on how countries rely on cyber warfare for political gain.”

Furthermore, says Nachmany: “With the FBI alleging that China conducts more cyber intrusions than all other nations in the world combined, the entire situation reveals that today’s cybercriminals will go great lengths to get what they want. Although China has denied any attack, if China is indeed associated with it, the attack is clearly an attempt to gain additional knowledge as the friction between the U.S.-China relations over Taiwan continues.”

In terms of the implications, Nachmany cautions: “However, what many don’t realize is how much one carrier relies on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its partners.”

The FCC is an agency of the U.S. federal government that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.

Looking to U.S. soil, Nachmany states: “While U.S. telecommunications companies and carriers, as well as the FCC attempts to secure our communications, the harsh reality is that the telecoms industry is built in a way to rely too much on partners and carriers.”

This inherent weakness means that it is easier o bring down multiple systems at the some time, as Nachmany points out: “If a telecoms firm becomes a victim of a cyberattack, for example, the ripple effect it has on the entire industry, as well as consumers is tremendous.”

In terms of suitable counter-actions, Nachmany recommends: “With nearly half of today’s organizations experiencing one or more security incidents due to mismanagement of digital certificates – the backbone to enterprise security — it’s mission critical for the telecom industry and the FCC and its partners to prioritize OT security and implement Zero Trust strategies.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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