European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen publicly linked to China a series of cyber attacks against EU hospitals and health care institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. von der Leyen added that this conduct cannot be tolerated, she also added that China carried out disinformation to distort the public sentiment around the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’ve seen attacks … on computer systems, on hospitals, and we know the origin of the cyberattacks,” von der Leyen said after a videoconference with China’s President Xi Jinping. “We put together the facts and the figures necessary to know.”
Early this month, the European Commission published a detailed report about disinformation campaigns carried out by foreign actors, including China, to spread conspiracy theories about COVID-19.
“Conspiracy theories that may endanger human health, harm the cohesion of our societies and may lead to public violence and create social unrest (for example conspiracies and myths about 5G installations spreading COVID-19 and leading to attacks on masts, or about a particular ethnic or religious group being at the origin of the spread of COVID-19, such as the worrying rise in COVID-19 related anti-Semitic content) require to strengthen the commitment of the whole society, including competent authorities, media, journalists, fact-checkers, civil society and online platforms, and include for example prompt debunking, demotion, possible removal or action against accounts.” reads the EC’s report.
Von der Leyen discussed with Xi in a videoconference, along with the EU’s leaders, of trade, human rights and other issues.
“However, it is time to accelerate on the very crucial areas of our relationship, to deliver on the important commitments from last Summit and address our concerns on reciprocity and the level playing field. As the European Union, we are committed to making swift and substantial progress. We count on the Chinese leadership to match our level of ambition.” concludes the statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel, following the EU-China Summit videoconference.
Malicious cyber attacks pose a serious threat to society because that could impair the ability of hospitals and healthcare organizations during the Coronavirus crisis.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of severe consequences against operators behind these attacks.
At the end of March, several Czech hospitals were hit by cyber attacks, in the middle of March, hackers breached one of the major COVID-19 testing laboratories in Czech, the Brno University Hospital in the city of Brno.
Several hospitals in the eastern Czech cities of Olomouc and Ostrava, as well as, several other infrastructures reported attack attempts.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, China)