Hontiveros urges probe into possible China influence in 2022 elections


Posted at Jul 22 2021 12:22 PM | Updated as of Jul 22 2021 02:37 PM

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MANILA - Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Thursday called on government agencies to look into possible interference by China into the 2022 national elections.

She cited a report by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky about the threat on internet users in Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines. It said there had been cyberespionage attacks against government entities since at least October 2020.

"Ayon sa Kaspersky, China has the capacity for such cyber espionage activities. Ang dapat nating itanong sa pamamagitan ng Departments of National Defense at saka Information and Communications Technology, may intensyon ba ang Tsina?" Hontiveros told ANC's Headstart.

(According to Kaspersky, China has the capacity for such cyber espionage activities. What we have to ask through the Departments of National Defense and Information and Communications Technology is, is there an intention by China to do so?)

"This would not be the first time. There have been earlier reports of such campaigns," she said.

Hontiveros said there had been earlier reports that Beijing "had already influenced earlier elections" in countries where it has economic interest.

The Kaspersky report said experts attribute the attack to the HoneyMyte threat group, "a well-known, long-standing, Chinese-speaking threat actor." This group is "primarily interested in gathering geopolitical and economic intelligence in Asia and Africa," it said.

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