US, NATO say China’s intelligence agency is behind the global cyber hacking campaign and cyber intrusions on Microsoft and other worldwide attacks
Early last year, four Chinese military spies were charged with hacking the credit bureau Equifax. The breach affected more than 145 million Americans with the hackers successfully stealing names, Social Security numbers, and other personal information stored in the company’s databases.
For the first time, a new alliance of NATO members, the European Union, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan is now ready to confront the threat posed by Chinese state-sponsored cyberattacks. According to a White House fact sheet released Monday morning, the United States is joined by its allies to level new allegations against China, opening a new area of tensions with the world’s second Superpower.
According to a White House fact sheet, the United States and a coalition of allies on Monday accused China’s Ministry of State Security of a global cyber hacking campaign, specifically attributing a large Microsoft attack disclosed earlier this year to hackers working on Beijing’s behalf.
The governments “will formally attribute the malicious cyber campaign utilizing the zero-day vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Exchange Server disclosed in March… to malicious cyber actors affiliated with the (Chinese Ministry of State Security) with high confidence,” the U.S. senior administration official told reporters ahead of the announcement. “The United States and our allies and partners are exposing further details of the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) pattern of malicious cyber activities and taking further action to counter it.”
To address China’s cyber aggression, the U.S. federal agencies, including the National Security Council, the FBI and the National Security Agency, will outline more than 50 techniques and procedures that “China state-sponsored actors” use in targeting U.S. networks, the official said.
Chinese state-sponsored cyber actors consistently scan target networks for critical and high vulnerabilities within days of the vulnerability’s public disclosure, according to a report from Reuters, citing the 31-page U.S. cybersecurity advisory seen by the news outlet.
“We will show how the PRC’s MSS, Ministry of State Security, uses criminal contract hackers to conduct unsanctioned cyber operations globally, including for their own personal profit,” the official said.
Last year, the FBI said that China’s theft of technology is the biggest law enforcement threat to the United States. Then, the coronavirus hit and the U.S. had to divert its resources to combat the virus that came from, you guessed it, China. Just last week, Chinese hackers used a previously undisclosed vulnerability in American networking devices to spy on the U.S. defense industry
As the United States battles China on all fronts including military superiority and technology dominance, China continues its relentless effort to steal U.S. scientific research. As we reported about a year ago, the US government charged four Chinese military spies with hacking the credit bureau Equifax. About four months later, two Chinese engineers were also found guilty of stealing US Chipmaker Micron Technology secrets and transferred them to China.