China-based group hacks HK govt departments

HONG KONG • Mainland Chinese hackers have attacked two Hong Kong government departments as the city prepares for a crucial parliamentary election.

The attack occurred last month in the run-up to the election tomorrow as fear of Beijing's tightening grip on semi-autonomous Hong Kong creates unprecedented social and political divides.

California-based security firm FireEye said yesterday that a China-based group it has been tracking since 2011 attacked at least two Hong Kong government agencies early last month.

The firm's Asia-Pacific chief technology officer, Mr Bryce Boland, believes the group responsible for the attacks, known as APT3, "is sponsored by the People's Republic of China".

Mr Boland said such attacks have increased since the mass pro-democracy protests in 2014, which have left an aftermath of ongoing political uncertainty.

Tomorrow's vote is the most important election since the rallies, which failed to win political reform from Beijing despite huge numbers and a global spotlight.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2016, with the headline 'China-based group hacks HK govt departments'. Print Edition | Subscribe