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Oz, US, And UK Officially Blame China For Microsoft Email Hack

The US and UK governments, plus their allies, have today formally blamed the Chinese government for “malicious cyber activities,” including the Microsoft Exchange hack in late February and early March.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews slammed Beijing for ‘undermining international stability’ after Australia joined the US, UK, European Union, New Zealand, Canada, and NATO in accusing Beijing of a large hack on the Microsoft Exchange email server earlier this year.

Karen Andrews.

The allies alleged China’s Ministry of State Security used ‘contract hackers’ to attack companies and government bodies, costing them billions of dollars in stolen intellectual property, ransom payments and cyber-security defence efforts.

Chinese state media has branded the claims a ‘huge lie’ and said the US ‘enlisted’ its allies to ‘smear’ and ‘frame’ Beijing.

Tens of thousands of emails were hacked, including governments, health-care facilities, energy companies and corporations.

“My understanding is that the Chinese government, not unlike the Russian government, is not doing this themselves, but are protecting those who are doing it and maybe even accommodating them being able to do it,” President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House yesterday.

“The Chinese Government must end this systematic cyber sabotage and can expect to be held account if it does not,” U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Monday in a statement.

“These contract hackers cost governments and businesses billions of dollars in stolen intellectual property, ransom payments and cybersecurity mitigation efforts, all while the MSS had them on its payroll,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO are all blaming China for the attack.

Microsoft had previously attributed the cyber attack to Chinese organisation Hafnium.

“Attributions like these will help the international community ensure those behind indiscriminate attacks are held accountable,” said Tom Burt, corporate vice president, Customer Security & Trust at Microsoft.

“Transparency is critical if we’re to combat the rising cyberattacks we see across the planet against individuals, organisations and nations.”

 

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