USA blames China for Microsoft ransomware attack
Washington says Beijing was behind Microsoft Exchange ransomware attack – media
Criminal hackers backed by China’s Ministry of State Security are responsible for a massive ransomware attack exploiting Microsoft Exchange email servers earlier this year, the Biden administration has alleged.
The cyber breach announced by Microsoft in March affected tens of thousands computers worldwide, with the company pointing finger at “a group assessed to be state-sponsored and operating out of China.” The US believes that he Ministry of State Security used the group, which was otherwise motivated by profit, to achieve its own ends, an official in the Biden administration told several media outlets on condition of anonymity, including the AP and AFP news agencies.
The disclosure was described as being part of the US’ attempt at a “multination public shaming” of Beijing for its alleged misdeeds. Washington did not impose any sanctions in response to the cyber attacks, but said it confronted Chinese officials about them.
Beijing denied any involvement in criminal hacking operations, saying it firmly opposes “cyber attacks and cyber theft in all forms” and that the US accusations lacked evidence. Russia is another country that Washington has accused of using cybercriminals to launch several recent attacks against Western targets. Moscow also denied the allegations, calling them baseless.
The unnamed official said US cyber experts learned more about how the supposed government-sponsored hackers in China operated. On Monday, several US security agencies published an advisory to the business community explaining how it can defend itself from such attacks. The semi-official accusation against Beijing coincided with the release of the document.