The United States, NATO and the European Union on Monday condemned an unusually uniform series of cyber attacks allegedly carried out on the orders of a Chinese state party.
The hack of the so-called “Microsoft Exchange servers” appeared in March 2021. Experts say that the cyber attack allowed hackers to gain access to global computer networks through the servers. According to estimates
The hacker attack affected more than a quarter of a million servers and more than 30,000 organizations, businesses, and local governments around the world.
US President Joe Biden on Monday accused Chinese authorities of “protecting” the perpetrators of cyber-attacks. They were “encouraged,” he said in a conversation at the White House.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement on Monday that the cyber attack on Microsoft Exchange servers resulted in the highest number of victims in the business community. The statement states that China’s Ministry of State Security employed “an entire system (ecosystem) of contract criminal hackers who carried out state-supported activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain.”
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Britain and the European Union also responded in a statement on Monday to the hack of Microsoft Exchange servers.
The European Union, which hit China with its first cyber attack on Russia last year, said in a statement that the incident “undermined the security and safety of thousands of computers and networks around the world”.
Seven year mission
Britain, which had previously been more reluctant to condemn China’s hostile activities than the United States, said for the first time on Monday that it believed Chinese hacker groups called “APT 40” and “APT 31” were linked to China’s Ministry of State Security.
An earlier statement from the Microsoft administration said that a group of hackers called “Hafnium” backed by a partisan state of China exploited a vulnerability in the tech giant’s computer system.
According to an article in the British daily Financial Times, US officials say with “a great deal of certainty” that cybercriminals linked to China carried out the attack on Microsoft Exchange servers.
According to the British newspaper, the US Department of Justice has also issued an indictment. This document alleges that four Chinese nationals affiliated with China’s Ministry of State Security also ran another online campaign, independent of Microsoft Exchange servers, for more than seven years, involving companies in the United States and abroad in aerospace and defense, medical editors, and pharmaceuticals, and universities and offices were hacked. government between 2011 and 2018.
According to the US indictment, the Chinese hacker group “APT 40”, also known as “Bronze”, also stole information about sensitive technologies such as self-driving cars, commercial airline service, and some infectious diseases (Ebola, coronavirus, and HIV viruses).
According to a reputable financial newspaper, senior US government officials stressed that “the criminal activities of Chinese hackers under the Chinese Ministry of Homeland Security include cyber extortion, cryptocurrency grabbing, and theft for financial gain anywhere in the world.”
The coordinated and simultaneous release of Monday’s convictions represents a new united front for Washington in the fight against a growing number of extortion virus attacks. By carrying out these attacks, hacker groups allegedly operating in Russia have been the most accused so far.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Japanese government spokeswoman Kato Kakunobo said Japanese companies have also become targets in cyber attacks carried out by hacker group APT40.
Beijing described the accusation of the United States, NATO and the European Union of carrying out a series of cyber attacks against Microsoft Exchange servers ordered by the Chinese leadership as slander.
The Western campaign is entirely politically motivated, said Zhao Liqin, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, at a press conference on Tuesday, about China’s demise and pressure on it. He added that Washington had not found sufficient evidence to support the “slanderers”.
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