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MPs, journos questioning China over COVID-19 mishandling claim to be victims of suspicious hacking

ANI | Updated: May 03, 2020 19:33 IST

London [UK], May 3 (ANI): Parliamentarians and journalists who have been questioning Beijing and its Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) mishandling of the coronavirus that has infected millions of lives across the globe and brought economies to a standstill, have claimed to be victims of a suspicious hacking, The Daily Mail has reported.
The Mail's Deputy Political Editor Harry Cole wrote in his article quoting Tory MP Alicia Kearns: "Last week, I joined the China Research Group. This week, I suddenly find myself under daily phishing attacks... I wonder."
Another MP who says he's a victim of attempts to trick him into giving information over the internet is Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat, who has been very vocal about the Chinese Communist Party's coronavirus failings, The Mail reported further.
He says: "A pretty sophisticated hacker is seeking to impersonate me."
In a similar manner, The Mail stated that it had received an email that was purportedly a copy of one from Tugendhat to Benedict Rogers of the Tory Party's Human Rights Commission.
It had the Tory MP's real signature and detailed a provocative plan to haul the Chinese ambassador before his committee for a grilling. The email boasted that Tugendhat was working with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the plan, the report said.
But, according to the newspaper, Tugendhat and Boris are not buddies. "One phone call proved the whole thing was fake news. Surely fans of the Beijing regime are smarter than to try to peddle disinformation?" The Mail reported further.
A day before, The Mail said in a separate article that the Five Eyes security alliance, comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, in a 15-page document branded China's secrecy over the pandemic an 'assault on international transparency' and divulged that the country had lied about the human-to-human transmission of coronavirus, made whistle-blowers disappear and refused to help nations develop a vaccine.

According to the newspaper, the alliance claimed that the Chinese government silenced its most vocal critics and scrubbed any online scepticism about its handling of the health emergency from the internet, in the memo obtained by the Australian Saturday Telegraph.
The file also claims to have found evidence the virus spawned in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, close to the wet market China, from 'risky' research on bat-related diseases.
It describes how Beijing was outwardly downplaying the outbreak on the world stage while secretly scrambling to bury all traces of the disease.
This involved 'destroying' laboratory samples, bleaching wet market stalls, censoring the growing evidence of 'silent carriers' of the virus and stonewalling sample requests from other countries.
The secrecy has fanned a clamour in Five Eyes nations for Western governments to come down hard on Beijing when the pandemic eventually passes.
US President Donald Trump has been leading the Western backlash to China, while the UK's 10 Downing Street on May 1 said "there are questions to be answered" of Covid-19's origins.
This week, Trump said he had seen evidence that coronavirus may have been created in the Chinese lab.
'Yes, I have. Yes, I have,' Trump said when asked if he had seen the proof the virus originated in the institute. He would not divulge what the evidence was that confirmed his suspicions.
Over 3.4 million people have been infected worldwide by the coronavirus and more than 243,600 people have died from the respiratory disease Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. (ANI)