#1232767: Trump Says China Is Meddling In US Elections
White House claims that China is meddling in the midterms do not ring true to experts and cybersecurity firms that have long tracked Beijing’s digital espionage operations and propaganda campaigns.
“I’m not aware of anything credible that ties directly to any targeting from China to election influence,” said Ron Bushar, chief technology officer of FireEye, a cybersecurity firm that has tracked Chinese hackers for years.
“There’s certainly no evidence of Russia-style online manipulation or hacking and doxing,” said Adam Segal, a cyber and China expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.
President Donald Trump aired the idea last month that Russia isn’t the only country attempting to undermine the US democratic process.In a speech at the United Nations last week, he alleged that “China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration.”
Vice President Mike Pence echoed those remarks in a speech Thursday. “China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections and the environment leading to the 2020 presidential elections,” he said at the Hudson Institute.
Neither Trump nor Pence explicitly accused China of mounting the types of social media trolling efforts or multiple, coordinated cyberattacks that the US has accused Russia of carrying out during the 2016 race. But Trump has likened the behavior of the two countries, saying last month that China is “trying to meddle in our elections. And we’re not going to let that happen. Just as we’re not going to let that happen with Russia.”
Yet China watchers have not seen any effort from Beijing to execute a disinformation campaign or propaganda effort to tilt the midterm elections one way or the other.
Plenty of evidence exists, of course, that Chinese hackers have infiltrated US businesses and international human rights groups and are continuing to carry out operations to steal American intellectual property. But the cyber researchers say there’s no sign yet that its hackers have turned their attention on the US political process in any kind of concerted campaign to undermine Trump.
|Date added||Oct. 12, 2018, 5:16 a.m.|