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A man uses a computer in an Internet cafe in Beijing on June 1, 2017. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images) The Chinese regime is using criminal contract hackers as part of its state-backed cyberattacks against targets around the world, senior Biden administration officials said on July 18.
China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), the regime’s chief intelligence agency, is behind the deployment of these hackers, the officials added. And their targets include managed service providers, semiconductor companies, defense corporations, universities, and medical institutions, according to a U.S. government cybersecurity advisory.
“These cyber operations support China’s long-term economic and military development objectives,” the advisory explained.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has set out different policies and industrial road maps with the goal of achieving “socialist modernization” by 2035 and becoming a “global leader in innovation.”
Some of the cyberattacks are ransomware operations, which involve malicious actors encrypting victims’ data and making it inaccessible. The actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. According to the officials, some private companies were asked to pay millions of dollars after being hit with China’s ransomware operations.
The new revelations on China’s long track record of malicious cyber activities drew joint condemnation from multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Japan, as well as from the European Union and NATO .
“We’re making it clear to China that for as long as these irresponsible, malicious cyber activities continue, it will unite countries around the world who are all victims to call them out, promote network defense and cybersecurity working together in that way,” said Biden administration officials.
In response to China’s new cyberthreats, the officials explained the Five Eyes countries, Japan, the EU, and NATO, would work together on information sharing and expanding diplomatic engagement to “strengthen our collective cyber resilience and security cooperation.” They expect more countries to join the cooperation in the coming weeks.
It marks the first time that NATO has publicly condemned China’s cyber activities, the Biden officials explained, as the transatlantic alliance adopted a new cyber defense policy in June. It states that a cyberattack against a NATO member is considered an […]
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JD Rucker – EIC