China Hacking Ukraine: Fake News Or Real News?

Did China actually attempt to hack into Ukrainian government websites?

The Ukrainian intelligence service claims they did.

The spy agency revealed that, in an apparent sign of complicity in the invasion, Chinese attacks started before the end of the Winter Olympics and peaked on February 23, the day before Russian troops and tanks crossed the border.

The SBU said China’s attacks sought to infiltrate targets ranging from border defence forces to the national bank and railway authority. They were designed to steal data and explore ways to shut down or disrupt vital defence and civilian infrastructure.

Russia also tried to cripple Ukraine’s computer networks and compromise government websites before invading, but the SBU said that Chinese attacks could be distinguished by the trademark tools and methods of the cyberwarfare unit of the People’s Liberation Army.

Yet we don't have any independently verifiable evidence these “attacks” even occurred. For obvious reasons, we are unlikely to see any of the forensic analyses pointing the finger at China.

If true, it would be evidence of Chinese and Russian coordination in the runup to the invasion—coordination which so far has been completely hidden from the financial markets:

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Even as propaganda, this news story is troubling. While not the explicitly planted story we saw with the “report” that Putin was being misled by his generals, it has the same provenance—”intelligence” analysis.

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Which begs the question: what is the real message of this story, and to whom is it directed?