China Denies Accountability for the Massive Cyberattack

China denies responsibility for the massive hacking of Microsoft servers. The statement was made after the United States, Australia, European Union, New Zealand, United Kingdom, NATO, and others, accused the communist country of the cyberattack. 

Chinese diplomat called the White House the “world champion” of malicious cyberattacks.

On Tuesday, a Chinese diplomat called the allegations “groundless and irresponsible” while labeling Washington the world champion of launching malicious cyberattacks. 

The United States made the allegations against China after the Microsoft Exchange servers were hacked in January. The cyberattack impacted over 30,000 organizations all over the world: this affected entities, defense contractors, government systems, universities, and more. 

Meanwhile, Biden likened the hacking to the cyberattacks that emanated from Russia. He also added that although China might not be directly accountable for the attack, the government protects those who are.

Biden also added that United States Intelligence is not investigating the attack, noting that they might take action once the probe is completed. 

On the other hand, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the hacking of a top email server – the Microsoft Exchange, is a part of a “pattern of irresponsibility.”

He added that it affected hundreds of corporations around the world; it is a destabilizing and disruptive behavior in cyberspace that posed a major threat to national security and the U.S. economy. 

Blinken also explained that the Chinese Ministry of State Security fostered an environment comprised of criminal contract hackers; these hackers conduct cybercrimes for their own personal gain and state-sponsored criminal activities. 

Biden said that Chinese President Xi Jinping might not have been directly accountable for these cyberattacks.

Likewise, the U.S. Department of Justice also announced that four Chinese nationals were charged for attacking the computer systems of government entities and universities between 2011 to 2018. 

The statement released by the Department of Justice also singled out the hacking of Microsoft Exchange servers which started in January 2021 and affected at least 30,000 organizations. 

A cybercriminal group known as the “Hafnium” is believed to have seen a weakness in the Microsoft Exchange server and started inserting “backdoors” in the system.

Initially, the movement was focused on covert data-gathering and surveillance. Then, in February, the criminal operation developed into a “smash and grab” on the servers after other cyber-criminal groups piled in. 

However, Biden noted that the Chinese President Xi Jinping might not have been directly responsible for the attacks. According to reports, the diplomatic goal of the U.S. officials is to make China, Russia, and other key nations agree to a set of guidelines for behavior instead of doing arms control, which could be impossible in a cyberworld. 

Yet, other critics stated that just like what Russia did (allegedly harboring cybercriminals carrying out these types of attacks), the government should be more cautious with the movements of the Chinese government.