Britain today sensationally blamed China for a campaign of global cyber attacks aimed at stealing business secrets from the UK and allied countries.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt blamed Beijing for the ‘one of the most significant’ cyber attacks ever made against the UK and its allies.
Mr Hunt demanded the Chinese offensive action ‘stop’, warning they breach international agreements made at the G20.
A group called APT10 that is linked to the China’s Ministry of State Security is responsible for the attacks, Mr Hunt said.
The ‘sustained’ campaign tried to steal secrets from global companies based in Europe, Asia and the United States.
The startling claims come despite a desperate attempt by British ministers to establish a ‘diamond era’ in UK-China relations.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (left with the PM today) blamed Beijing for the ‘one of the most significant’ cyber attacks ever made against the UK
Mr Hunt said: ‘This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world.
‘These activities must stop. They go against the commitments made to the UK in 2015, and, as part of the G20, not to conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property or trade secrets.
‘Our message to governments prepared to enable these activities is clear: together with our allies, we will expose your actions and take other necessary steps to ensure the rule of law is upheld.’
The Foreign Office said Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre had established with the ‘highest level of probability’ that APT10 was behind the ‘sustained cyber campaign’.
Britain has courted China in recent years, bringing President Xi Jinping (pictured with Theresa May in February) to London for a state visit and scrambling to secure Chinese investment in major projects including nuclear power
It targeted a range of global companies and sought to steal intellectual property and commercial secrets from Europe, Asia and the US.
The attacks are still underway and fall foul of agreements made at the G20 that no country should support cyber attacks to steal trade secrets.
It also breaks a bilateral agreement between Britain and China.
Britain has courted China in recent years, bringing President Xi Jinping to London for a state visit and scrambling to secure Chinese investment in major projects including nuclear power.