Investigators Found Traces of U.S. Involvement
Shortly after forming a joint investigation team that comprised the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center (CVERC) and Chinese cybersecurity company 360, the latter identified nasty system backdoor software that exhibits a unique mode of US intelligence agencies.
Previously, the Wuhan Earthquake Monitoring Center reported a backdoor malware implant in its frontend data collection software. The attacker properly concealed the malware and stole earthquake monitoring-related data. Du Zhenhua, an engineer at the CERVC, claimed that the main purpose of the attack was military intentions.
Why Target Earthquake Monitoring Systems?
According to the report, China often suffers natural disasters like earthquakes, with multiple occurrences causing severe loss of life and property. China attaches great importance to earthquake monitoring and early warning.
Therefore, to heighten the development of monitoring and early warning capability of geological disasters, earthquake monitoring data comprises the basic information on magnitude and epicenter and other rich geographical and geological data such as surface deformation and hydrological monitoring.
Apparently, many espionage instances are targeting other core fields in China’s development that have yet to surface.
Moreover, leveraging various means of intrusion, espionage, and other deep measures to obtain all kinds of data, and combining other multi-source auxiliary data, helps them analyze, judge, and locate China’s economic, social operations, and even military actions.
Wuhan Earthquake Monitoring Center Cyberattack Spreads Panic
Du stated that the attack on the center could have a negative impact on people. If the cyberattack damages the monitoring system, it will not produce accurate results during an earthquake. This could delay warnings and disaster assessment work. It could also lead to huge loss of lives and properties.
Xiao Xinguang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) added that the data from the earthquake monitoring center can show China’s basic operation of its economy and society from macro to micro levels.