The UK and US authorities are actively pursuing seven suspects, known as ‘Chinese hackers’

The UK and US authorities are actively pursuing seven suspects, known as ‘Chinese hackers’


UK and US authorities are currently on the hunt for seven individuals suspected of being involved in a cyber hacking ring that has been operated by the Chinese for a span of 14 years. These suspects, all believed to be residing in China and aged between 34 and 38, have been charged by US prosecutors with various acts of espionage, including hacking into the systems of politicians and businesses. In an effort to aid their capture, images of the wanted men have been released to the public.

The Electoral Commission and individual MPs and peers have been targeted by “malicious” cyber attacks, and it has been confirmed that Chinese spies were responsible for these incidents. Prominent backbench voices, including former cabinet ministers Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Suella Braverman, have joined the chorus in urging for China to be recognized as a threat.

The cyber hacking ring, as per the US Department of Justice, stands accused of sending over 10,000 malicious emails with the intention of posing a threat to national security. These emails, upon being opened, deployed tracking software that enabled the hackers to gather information about the victims’ whereabouts, IP addresses, and the devices they utilized for email communication. According to the US, the hackers utilized the tracking information to specifically target home routers and various other devices. These targets included individuals such as high-ranking US government officials, politicians, and election campaign staff from both major US political parties.

According to officials, the campaign, which reportedly started in 2010, had multiple objectives. These included targeting individuals critical of the Chinese government, stealing valuable trade secrets from American companies, and conducting surveillance on high-ranking political figures. Western officials have recently exposed this operation, which was carried out by a hacking group known as APT31. This revelation has raised concerns, particularly during an election year, about the sophisticated espionage capabilities of a country that has long been associated with such activities.

In a related development, the British government has taken action by imposing sanctions on a front company and two individuals involved in the breach. This breach potentially allowed the Chinese to gain access to sensitive information about millions of voters in the United Kingdom, which is held by the Electoral Commission. As part of the sanctions, the UK has frozen the assets of two of the suspects, Guangzong and Gaobin. Efforts are currently underway to locate and apprehend the seven individuals involved in this operation, namely Ni Gaobin, Weng Ming, Cheng Feng, Peng Yaowen, Sun Xiaohui, Xiong Wang, and Zhao Guangzong.