More than half of the malware attacks against Chinese computers came from outside entities in 2019 from the United States, according to data from the government’s cybersecurity team.
The total number of malware attacks against Chinese computers reached more than 62 million in 2019, according to the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (NCA).CNCERT).
American attacks accounted for about 53.5 percent of foreign attacks, less than the previous year.
Russia and Canada were the second and third largest contributors to malware attacks against Chinese computers, accounting for 2.9 and 2.6 percent, respectively, of the total number of foreign attacks.
The number of new malicious attacks directed against mobile phone networks reached nearly 2.8 million in 2019, 1.4 percent less than the previous year, and the first drop in such attacks in five years.
CNCERT, which released the current report on cybersecurity, officially describes itself as a non-profit, non-governmental agency, but published a blog post in 2019 on its website saying: It is directly under the administration of cyberspace in China, the highest Internet oversight body in Country.
Cybersecurity is currently high on the international agenda amid escalating technical and trade tensions between the United States and China.
Hackers targeted Chinese agencies and diplomatic missions with virtual private network (VPN) servers in a coordinated cyber espionage campaign earlier this year.
This came at a time when many governments and global organizations are more vulnerable than ever to security breaches due to remote working conditions amid the epidemic, according to a report issued by the Chinese cybersecurity company (Qihoo 360) in April.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has taken action against Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat for allegedly posing a threat to national security.
The US Department of Justice also accused Chinese hackers in July of targeting the development of a vaccine on behalf of China’s intelligence service as part of a broader campaign spanning years of global cyber theft targeting industries such as defense, manufacturing and energy.
China has recently tightened cybersecurity rules, requiring critical information infrastructure to undergo a cybersecurity review process for any purchases that could have implications for national security.
Experts said the standards could push companies to turn away from multinational suppliers who are likely to be seen as a greater national security risk to China.
“Cybersecurity technology innovation, industry development, talent development, and enhanced cooperation must be accelerated in the face of new trends and challenges in cybersecurity,” CNCERT said in the report.