Researchers have also linked China to a large-scale spam network trying to influence the United States through YouTube videos (some from hijacked channels) with “clumsy” subtitles and computer-generated sounds. Google said it disrupted the network, including removing more than 3,000 channels, and had no operational impact. Google said there were no “large” coordinated impact campaigns on its platforms that targeted US voters.
The company also indicated North Korean groups attempting to infiltrate COVID-19 researchers and drug companies in September through phishing and malware.
Google added that brute-force attacks also played a role. It’s less common than state-backed groups, but Google pointing to Into a 2017 distributed denial of service attack that illustrated the risks. The tech pioneer had to accommodate an attack using a whopping 2.5 terabytes per second of bandwidth spread across several Chinese internet providers. DDoS attacks require a “coordinated response” from the Internet, and Google has promised to report these efforts when it is reasonably confident that its origins are country-based.