Finland Blames Chinese Hacking Group APT31 for Parliament Cyber Attack

Finland Blames Chinese Hacking Group APT31 for Parliament Cyber Attack

The Police of Finland (aka Poliisi) has formally accused a Chinese nation-state actor tracked as APT31 for orchestrating a cyber attack targeting the country’s Parliament in 2020.

The intrusion, per the authorities, is said to have occurred between fall 2020 and early 2021. The agency described the ongoing criminal probe as both demanding and time-consuming, involving extensive analysis of a “complex criminal infrastructure.”

The breach was first disclosed in December 2020, with the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo) describing it as a state-backed cyber espionage operation designed to penetrate the Parliament’s information systems.

In July 2021, the U.S. and its allies implicated APT31 in a far-reaching campaign exploiting zero-day security flaws in Microsoft Exchange servers with the goal of likely “acquiring personally identifiable information and intellectual property.”

China, however, has hit back against the accusations that it’s behind the hacking campaign targeting the West. It has accused the Five Eyes (FVEY) alliance of spreading “disinformation about the threats posed by the so-called ‘Chinese hackers.'”

“We urge the U.S. and the U.K. to stop politicizing cybersecurity issues, stop smearing China and imposing unilateral sanctions on China, and stop cyber attacks against China,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian said. “China will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its lawful rights and interests.”