The Biden administration and Western allies formally blamed China for a massive hack of Microsoft Exchange email server software and asserted that criminal hackers associated with the Chinese government have carried out ransomware and other illicit cyber operations.
/ July 28, 2021
Key U.S. security agencies have for the first time directly sounded the alarm about Chinese government hacking operations.
“The National Security Agency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) assess that People’s Republic of China state-sponsored malicious cyber activity is a major threat to U.S. and allied cyberspace assets,” a July 19 report by the agencies says.
The NSA, CISA and FBI identified what they called increasingly sophisticated Chinese state-backed cyber operations targeting political, economic, military, educational and critical infrastructure, such as electric and communication grids.
A second trend is the exploitation of operating systems and other software vulnerabilities.
Chinese state hacker operations are conducted by the Ministry of State Security civilian spy service and People’s Liberation Army intelligence agencies, the report said. The cyber operations support Chinese military and economic development.
The report listed at least 50 technical methods Beijing’s hackers use to steal information from U.S. government and private-sector computer networks.
“Chinese state-sponsored cyber actors aggressively target U.S. and allied political, economic, military, educational and critical infrastructure personnel and organizations to steal sensitive data, critical and emerging key technologies, intellectual property and personally identifiable information,” the report said.
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