11:21 GMT +312 December 2018
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    Cybercrime

    Trump Claims of China Campaign to Sway US Elections Refuted by Friend and Foe

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    China watchers report no cybermoves by Beijing to sway voting in the US, but that has not stopped the US president and his administration from making repeated assertions that the Asian nation is actively undermining the American electoral process ahead of the crucial November midterm elections.

    "I'm not aware of anything credible that ties directly to any targeting from China to election influence," Ron Bushar, chief technology officer of FireEye, a cybersecurity firm that has monitored Chinese hackers for years, told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) Sunday. 

    "There's certainly no evidence of Russia-style online manipulation or hacking and doxing," Adam Segal, a cyber and China expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, added.

    In August, US President Donald Trump tweeted, "Report just out: ‘China hacked Hillary Clinton's private Email Server.' Are they sure it wasn't Russia (just kidding!)? What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!" following a publication by the Daily Caller on the matter, which cited "two sources briefed on the matter."

    The Daily Caller reported at the time that a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area compromised then-Secretary of State Clinton's private server and obtained almost all of her emails in real time, as she exchanged communications. According to sources, the alleged hacking was part of an intelligence operation. China's foreign ministry has refuted the allegations.

    Last month, during a speech at the United Nations, Trump claimed that "China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration."

    US Vice-President Mike Pence reiterated his boss's sentiment in a speech Thursday at the Hudson Institute.

    "China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading to the 2020 presidential elections," Pence claimed, without offering proofs, examples or data to back up his story. 

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stated, however, that it has not found any evidence that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email was hacked as part of a Chinese government-sanction cyber-operation.

    "The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised," the FBI's statement reads.

    In August, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said here was nothing unusual about Washington accusing Beijing of hacking the emails of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    "China opposes any type of cyberattack. We believe that the international community should continue its efforts […] to ensure the security of cyberspace," ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news briefing, adding that China saw "nothing new" in the US accusations.

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    cyber crime, hacking, China, United States
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