Mandia: China has now replaced Russia as top cybersecurity threat


China has eclipsed Russia as the premier cyber threat, with a notable increase in the sophistication and aggressiveness of its cyber operations.

According to Cyberscoop, this significant shift is emphasised by Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant, a threat intelligence and incident response company recently acquired by Google.

Speaking at the Google Public Sector Forum organised by Scoop News Group, Mandia underscored that Beijing’s hackers have surpassed Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service in the realm of cyber offence. Highlighting their innovative tactics, Mandia mentioned that China “innovates more than anybody on the front lines”.

For almost two decades, Mandia or his colleagues have countered a breach from China daily, underlining the persistent challenge posed by Chinese cyber agents. Echoing Mandia’s concerns, both the U.S. intelligence community’s recent threat assessment and the Department of Homeland Security have identified China as a major cyber threat.

Between 2004 and 2019, Russia held the title of the top cyber threat. However, that landscape has altered. The advancements in operational security, the refinement of hacking tools, and enhanced training by Chinese actors have shifted the balance in their favour. A testament to their prowess was the deployment of two zero-day vulnerabilities against a firewall vendor, targeting U.S. defence contractors. This operation was marked as the most costly hack observed by Mandiant in the past year.

Mandia said, “China innovates more than anybody on the front lines. Quite frankly, they are the one apex attacker in cyberspace.”

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