The United States, alongside other allies such as the UK, have announced that they are going to shed light on the current cyber situation coming out of China, with the nation standing accused of conducting numerous cyber-attacks around the world.
The announcement on Monday also accused the Chinese government of profiting from some of their recent cyber activities, including the previously confessed breaching of the Microsoft Exchange servers back in March.
A senior official from the US administration stated that the US, alongside the UK, NATO, and other allies, will show the world how the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of State Security are using their “criminal contracted hackers in order to conduct unsanctioned missions across the globe.”
The official also accused the Chinese state of using these operations for profit, stating that their cyber activities have led to “cyber-related extortion, cryptojacking, and theft,” which they have supposedly used for their financial gain across the world.
Officials have also stated that they are aware of some “government-affiliated cyber operators” who are allegedly conducting ransomware operations against numerous private businesses.
These operations are said that have involved ransom sums of “millions of dollars.”
Other senior officials have stated that they believe the MSS ransomware attacks to be “surprising,” yet they believe it gives the administration a “new insight” into how the MSS is currently operating, and believes it offers a partial explanation as to the “aggressive behavior” currently coming out of China.
The officials also stated that there are some similarities between the Chinese cyberattacks and the Russian cyberattacks, however, the big difference is that the Chinese government is actively employing criminals to conduct illegal cyber operations around the world.
Who’s on Team USA?
Partnering alongside the US in Monday’s public announcement was the UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the European Union and NATO.
The inclusion of NATO in this announcement sent shock waves in the international political scene, as this announcement marks the first time that NATO has condemned the cyber actions of the Chinese state.
The NSA, FBI, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency made public a list of tactics and techniques used by the Chinese state during the state-sponsored cyber activities.
Officials state that those employed in China used “virtual private servers” alongside “open source/commercial penetration tools” to exploit certain vulnerabilities that may exist inside major applications such as Microsoft.
When officials were asked why they took so long to condemn the cyberattacks coming out of China, they stated that they wanted to ensure that they had enough allies and partners to work, as many of the attacks did not target the US.
They also stated that their concerns have been raised with senior Chinese officials, before refusing to rule out further action against the Chinese government, if the attacks continue.