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U.S. Officials Claim China Hacked Microsoft Exchange

U.S. Officials Claim China Hacked Microsoft Exchange

China responds by threatening US and allies with retaliation, which was preceded by an earlier threat to nuke Japan.

As I have noted, China has a long and disturbing list of engineering failures and stolen technology.

Now it appears that the nation has joined Russia as a significant cybersecurity threat as well.

The Biden administration for the first time on Monday accused the Chinese government of breaching Microsoft email systems used by many of the world’s largest companies, governments and military contractors, as the United States rallied a broad group of allies to condemn Beijing for cyberattacks around the world.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said China’s Ministry of State Security “has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain.”

The coalition of nations, which included the European Union and, for the first time, all NATO members, stopped short of punishing China, highlighting the challenges of confronting a nation with deep economic ties around the world. Europe has lucrative trade agreements with China and has been reluctant to publicly criticize the country in the past.

China was unwise in targeting one of the Big Tech giants supporting this administration.

However, while cybersecurity experts are clamoring for sanctions against China, officials at this point seem to want to take a “name and shame” approach.

Cybersecurity experts said one option available to US officials is an executive order, signed during the Obama administration, that permits the US government to sanction the beneficiaries or facilitators of industrial espionage via cyber intrusion. The order is still on the books and can be invoked at any time.

Before issuing any sanctions, US officials would engage in a detailed, interagency process to weigh the risks of possible blowback as well as the likelihood of the action changing Chinese behavior, said Christopher Painter, a former senior US cybersecurity official.

“It’s going to be sustained campaign,” he said, “and you’re going to have to use a lot of different tools. And sanctions have to be in that tool list.”

An administration official involved in the deliberations separately told CNN that “today, we did as much as we were willing to do for the time being, which is to unseal indictments and name and shame.” He was referring to an indictment the Justice Department unveiled Monday that accuses China’s Ministry of State Security of relying on a front company to carry out cyberattacks.

Yes…a strongly worded letter should be very effective against the nation that has covered up its role in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, China threatened the United States and our allies in the wake of these accusations.

China on Monday expressed outrage at formal claims from the U.S. and a group of allies hours earlier that it paid criminal groups to carry out cyber hacks, including ransomware attacks, and that it perpetrated the Microsoft email system breach earlier this year.

Beijing called the claims “a huge lie,” “slander” and “ridiculous,” and it threatened devastating consequences if Washington proceeds with similar rhetoric or considers punitive action, according to a post in China’s English-language Global Times, considered a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.

“Such a practice cannot be carried out in China’s system, and it is completely inexplicable from the perspective of motivation,” according to the article. “If the US takes aggressive measures, carries out national-level cyber attacks on China, or imposes so-called sanctions on China, we will retaliate.”
China’s rhetoric came after several U.S. agencies along with a group of allies, including all NATO members, issued a series of statements Monday morning claiming China was behind the massive hack on the Microsoft Exchange email server unveiled this past spring and that it worked with criminal hackers to carry out ransomware and other illegal cyber operations that targeted victims – including those in the U.S. – with demands for millions of dollars.

But, hey, at least China didn’t threaten us with nukes…like it did Japan.

“We will use nuclear bombs first. We will use nuclear bombs continuously. We will do this until Japan declares unconditional surrender for the second time,” a threatening video circulated among official Chinese Communist Party channels warns.

“When we liberate Taiwan, if Japan dares to intervene by force – even if it only deploys one soldier, one plane or one ship – we will not only return fire but also wage full-scale war against Japan itself.”

Only the rise in inflation and the escalation in social justice insanity by Biden’s administration has outpaced the decline in national security.


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2smartforlibs | July 20, 2021 at 7:16 am

I don’t expect it took much Microsoft is pretty much junk since Gates has bigger fish to fish ie the American public.

Nice…..three more years of Chinese hyper aggression, if we survive.

Wait, it’s not the Russians? How is that possible? I thought it was always the Russians!

Do it, China. Give the world the opportunity to set y’all back 10,000 years.
It is the only way.

I trust the Chinese Ministry of State Security to the same degree that I trust the US Intelligence Community.

as long as there’s a 10% cut for the “big guy”, *OTUS Zhou Bai-Din doesn’t care what the ChiComs do.

henrybowman | July 21, 2021 at 1:39 am

“…One… MILLION… yen!”