On Monday, July 19, the United States, NATO, the European Union and the United Kingdom formally accused China of being behind a large-scale cyber attack on Microsoft Exchange email servers, claiming that Beijing hires hackers to carry out such operations.
In reference to an attack in March that compromised tens of thousands of computers and networks around the world.
A senior US administration official told reporters on a conference call that US intelligence agencies had determined “with great confidence” that the attack on Microsoft was carried out by personnel affiliated with China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS).
The US noted that hackers with a history of working with MSS “have been involved in ransomware attacks, online extortion, cryptography (a malicious program that infects computers for use in cryptocurrency mining), and victims of theft in everyone for financial gain.”
“The People’s Republic of China’s unwillingness to address the criminal activity of rented hackers harms governments, businesses, and major infrastructure operators through the loss of billions of dollars in intellectual property, proprietary information, bailout payments and mitigation efforts,” he added.
Similarly, the Department of Justice announced that four Chinese nationals have been tasked with working with MSS to hack corporate, university and government computer systems to steal intellectual property and confidential business information.
See also: Microsoft claims Russian hackers launched a cyber attack through the USAID email system
The indictment states that Deng Xiaoyang, Cheng Qingmin, and Zhou Yunmin, officers with the Ministry of State Security in Hainan, an island province in China, are “responsible for coordinating, facilitating and managing hackers and linguists in Hainan Xiandun and other companies. They carry out hacking for the benefit of China and its state-owned tools.” .
Also note that the hacker Wu Shurong created malware and hacked into foreign government computer systems and supervised other hackers at Hainan Xiandun Technology Development Co., Ltd.
* Juan Felipe Vélez Rojas contributed to this note.
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