US, allies accuse China of global cyber hacking campaign

20 July 2021


AFP :
The United States on Monday led allies in fierce condemnation of China's "malicious" cyber activity, accusing Beijing of extortion and threatening national security, and promising consequences as it charged four Chinese nationals with hacking.
In comments, US secretary of state Antony Blinken accused China of being behind the massive Microsoft hack disclosed in March, part of a "pattern of irresponsible, disruptive, and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, which poses a major threat to our economic and national security."
"(China's) Ministry of State Security (MSS) has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cyber crime for their own financial gain," Blinken said in a statement.
Meanwhile the US Department of Justice said four Chinese nationals had been charged with hacking the computers of dozens of companies, universities and government bodies in the US and abroad between 2011 and 2018.
"As evidenced by the indictment of three MSS officers and one of their contract hackers unsealed by the Department of Justice today, the United States will impose consequences on (Chinese) malicious cyber actors for their irresponsible behavior in cyberspace," Blinken said.
The US, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO were united against the threat, a senior US official said.
The EU issued a statement condemning
    
China's behavior and urging it to "take all appropriate measures" to clamp down on such activities.
Later on Monday, the US-led alliance was due to announce details of action against China over the alleged cyber misconduct, and to reveal 50 "tactics, techniques and procedures" used by Chinese state-sponsored cyber actors, the senior US official said.
The official said US allies were sharing technical advice on how to confront China.

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