It turns out that despite the Russia, Russia, Russia hysteria, the Chinese were behind the Microsoft Exchange Server hack-attack in March. Democrats aren’t happy about having to admit that Once and Future President Donald Trump was right after all.
Four Chinese indicted
Four Chinese nationals have been charged with cyber-crimes related to “a global hacking campaign aimed at dozens of companies, universities and government agencies” around the world, including here in the United States. The Ministry of Justice admitted on Monday that Beijing strolled away with “trade secrets in industries including aviation, defense, education, government, health care, biopharmaceutical and maritime industries.” For instance, “DOJ documents outline how MSS hackers pursued the theft of Ebola virus vaccine research and demonstrate that the PRC’s theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, and confidential business information extends to critical public health information.” Isn’t that lovely.
Charges were filed against Ding Xiaoyang, Cheng Qingmin and Zhu Yunmin, who were “HSSD officers responsible for coordinating computer hackers and linguists at the front companies.” Defendant Wu Shurong is described as “employee at front company Hainan Xiandun Technology Development Co. Ltd.” His unofficial resume says he “created malware, hacked into computer systems operated by foreign governments, companies and universities, and supervised other Hainan Xiandun hackers.” It turns out that rather than have to pay benefits and such, the Chinese prefer their hackers to work as independent contractors. According to a Palace press release, the “United States is deeply concerned that the PRC has fostered an intelligence enterprise that includes contract hackers who also conduct unsanctioned cyber operations worldwide, including for their own personal profit.”
The U.S. had to have help from around the world to crack the case but the global team eventually concluded that the Microsoft penetration “was sponsored by” the Ministry of State Security and “focused on information that would significantly benefit Chinese companies and businesses, including research and development processes.” Investigators traced the suspects down to find they were linked with “officials in the Hainan State Security Department.” They tried to hide the government role with a front company.
The palace stuck Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco in front of the TV cameras to explain that these “criminal charges once again highlight that China continues to use cyber-enabled attacks to steal what other countries make, in flagrant disregard of its bilateral and multilateral commitments.” That doesn’t mean His Wisdom Joe Biden will actually do anything about Chinese spying though. The palace is really disappointed that instead of the Kremlin, the “malicious cyber actors” were affiliated with the People’s Republic of China. They finally admit that “PRC’s MSS conducted cyber espionage operations utilizing the zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server.”
It seems that before “Microsoft released its security updates, MSS-affiliated cyber operators exploited these vulnerabilities to compromise tens of thousands of computers and networks worldwide in a massive operation that resulted in significant remediation costs for its mostly private sector victims.” Chinese hackers know more about our technology than we do.
For now, it seems that the Chinese had one of their A-teams benched. The four indicted criminals were linked to the group “APT40” known for “malicious cyber activities.” The palace is fully aware that “PRC government-affiliated cyber operators have conducted ransomware operations against private companies that have included ransom demands of millions of dollars.”