Military geographic data is being stolen in data breaches, China warns

Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay (Image credit: Geralt / Pixabay)

China has released a warning against the use of foreign geographic software after it found information about its essential infrastructure and military was being leaked.

While the Ministry of State security did not attribute any blame, it did state that the software in question was built with “backdoors” to allow deliberate access to data.

As a result, the Chinese government has urged organizations to carry out checks for security vulnerabilities and data breaches.

 Military, energy and transportation at risk

The Chinese government released a statement via its official WeChat account stating that data collected by foreign software included state secrets, "posing a serious threat to China's national security".

According to Reuters, the data at risk includes high-precision geographic information and three-dimensional geomorphological mapping relating to key industries including transport, energy and military.

As a result of heightened global tensions, increasing the security of key industries has been a priority for China, especially following an increase in saber rattling towards Taiwan and continued US reassurances towards the island nation.

China is suspected of being behind a number of recent cyberattacks probing US infrastructure, in order to develop an attack playbook in the event of war between the two superpowers.

The US has also been taking steps to secure domestic production of semiconductors for its military by investing several billions dollars, as part of the CHIPS Act, to build factories across the US. This has been deemed as an investment in national security, as current imports from production hubs in East Asia are at risk of Chinese espionage.

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Benedict Collins
Staff Writer (Security)

Benedict Collins is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro covering privacy and security. Before settling into journalism he worked as a Livestream Production Manager, covering games in the National Ice Hockey League for 5 years and contributing heavily to the advancement of livestreaming within the league. Benedict is mainly focused on security issues such as phishing, malware, and cyber criminal activity, but he also likes to draw on his knowledge of geopolitics and international relations to understand the motives and consequences of state-sponsored cyber attacks.

He has a MA in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy, alongside a BA in Politics with Journalism, both from the University of Buckingham. His masters dissertation, titled 'Arms sales as a foreign policy tool,' argues that the export of weapon systems has been an integral part of the diplomatic toolkit used by the US, Russia and China since 1945. Benedict has also written about NATO's role in the era of hybrid warfare, the influence of interest groups on US foreign policy, and how reputational insecurity can contribute to the misuse of intelligence.

Outside of work Ben follows many sports; most notably ice hockey and rugby. When not running or climbing, Ben can most often be found deep in the shrubbery of a pub garden.