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China to Blame for Microsoft Hack: Report

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken released a statement to address the hack and the United States' conclusion that China was behind it.


President Joe Biden’s administration said Monday that China is to blame for a hack of Microsoft Exchange email server software earlier this year. The hack compromised tens of thousands of computers globally.

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Secretary of State Anthony Blinken released a statement to address the hack and the United States’ conclusion that China was behind it. 

“The PRC’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain,” Blinken said. “In addition, the United States government, alongside our allies and partners, has formally confirmed that cyber actors affiliated with the MSS exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server in a massive cyber espionage operation that indiscriminately compromised thousands of computers and networks, mostly belonging to private sector victims.”

Related: Microsoft Loses $10 Billion Contract for Pentagon's JEDI Project

The Department of Justice unsealed an indictment of three MSS officers and an accused contract hacker Monday, which Blinken pointed to as proof “the United States will impose consequences on PRC malicious cyber actors for their irresponsible behavior in cyberspace.”

“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,” he said, noting that the United States is working with allies “to promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace, counter cybercrime, and oppose digital authoritarianism."

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