Reports of Chinese hacking of Russian govt agencies emerge ahead of Biden-Putin Summit

Reports have emerged ahead of the June 16 Biden-Putin summit that Chinese hackers have allegedly breached Russian government entities raising speculations that Washington and Moscow may launch cyber security cooperation.

Russian government agencies were allegedly hacked by Chinese hackers last year, US-based CyberScoop, a leading media outlet in the field of cybersecurity reported this week.

Incidentally this report was published days ahead of a summit in Geneva between the Presidents of USA and Russia that could lead to a thaw in ties. CyberScoop quoted a research from Sentinel One, a leading cyber security firm.

The codes used in hacking Russian government entities were similar to ones that targeted Asian governments, CyberScoop said, quoting Sentinel One.

SentinelOne’s research is reportedly based on a report by the Federal Security Service (FSB), one of Russia’s main security agencies, and the cyber unit of telecom firm Rostelecom.

The hackers allegedly used top Russian technology providers Yandex and Mail.Ru, according to the report.

Incidentally, U.S. officials last year exposed a suspected Chinese hacking campaign that targeted entities in Russia and other former Soviet republics. But the recent reports of Chinese hacking against Russia may raise debate about US-Russia cooperation against cyber security threats.

Russia-China ties have its own share of differences and tensions. From Chinese encroachment in Far East Russia to Chinese ambitions in Ukraine and Central Asia to espionage in Arctic affairs. Experts on Russian affairs had earlier indicated to ET that China is making independent plans to boost its Arctic presence and this has created some discomfort in Moscow. “These issues may not play out publicly but the Russian-China partnership is probably reaching its limit,” quipped an expert who has studied Soviet and Russian foreign policy for decades.

Meanwhile the Russian President said this week that the talk of Russian involvement in ransomware attacks was meant to “provoke some new conflicts before our meeting with Biden”

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