Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Microsoft made hacking claims with TikTok deal in mind: Global Times

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Beijing: After Microsoft said that hackers with ties to China, Russia and Iran are trying to snoop on people with the upcoming US presidential election, Chinese experts said that the company made the claims in a bid to show loyalty to the US President Donald Trump and ensure its smooth buyout of TikTok, Global Times reported on Friday.

Microsoft, which is one of the front-runners in the race to buy TikTok’s US operations, said on Thursday that a hacking group called “Zirconium”, operating from China, has attacked high-profile individuals associated with the election, including people associated with the Joe Biden for President campaign and prominent leaders in the international affairs community.

The company mentioned two other hacking groups operating from Russia and Iran.

In its report, the Chinese state-run Global Times which cited a Fudan University professor said that Microsoft’s claims demonstrated the firm’s loyalty to Trump.

“China would never do anything to target the US presidential election,” Shen Yi, Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University was quoted as saying.

Besides Microsoft, other companies including Oracle are in the race to buy TikTok’s US operations.

The short-video platform owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance is facing the threat of a ban from the Trump administration unless the company divests TikTok’s US operations by September 20.

With regard to Microsoft’s claims about the hacking group operating from China, the report said that “such accusations are based on false pretenses that fail to address real cyberspace threats, since cyber security requires joint efforts by the whole international community.”

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