U.S. cyber firm says Chinese hackers meddling in Cambodia election

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  July 11, 2018 at 1:21 PM
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July 11 (UPI) -- Chinese hackers have compromised Cambodia's election process ahead of its July 29 vote, cybersecurity firm FireEye said Wednesday.

The report cited an increase in hacking attempts in the past several months by a Chinese hacking group known since 2013 as TEMP.Periscope.

The FireEye report said the group targeted opposition figures, agencies of the Cambodian government, human rights agencies and media outlets.

"This includes compromises of Cambodian government entities charged with overseeing the elections, as well as the targeting of opposition figures," the California-based firm said.

The Cambodian National Election Commission, Interior Ministry and opposition lawmakers are among those whose computers have been breached, the report said. It added TEMP.Periscope has attacked computers of corporations, academics and engineering and maritime defense contractors in the United States, Europe, Taiwan and Hong Kong in the past.

FireEye said there is little doubt the hacks against Cambodia aimed to benefit the government in Beijing.

"Cambodia has served as a reliable supporter of China's South China Sea position in international forums ... and is an important partner," FireEye said. "While Cambodia is rated as 'authoritarian' by the Economist's 'Democracy Index,' the recent surprise upset of the ruling party in Malaysia may motivate China to closely monitor Cambodia's July 29 elections."

"Hacking is against Cambodia's national security," Cambodia Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told the South China Morning Post. "Spying, we condemn this. It's against the law, for any group - China, the U.S. or EU."

China's Foreign Ministry did not immediately address the report.

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