(Reuters) – The United States and a coalition of allies accused China on Monday of a global cyber-hacking campaign employing contract hackers, which specifically attributed a major Microsoft attack revealed earlier this year to actors working for Beijing. By opening a new area of tension with China, the United States is joined by NATO, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Canada to level the playing field.
"The United States and countries around the world hold the People's Republic of China accountable for its pattern of irresponsible, disruptive and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, which poses a major threat to our economic and national security," said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a statement. statement on Monday.
Also on Monday, the US Department of Justice said that four Chinese citizens ̵
The opening of a new front in the government's war on hacking comes a month after the G7 and NATO leaders agreed with President Joe Biden at summits in Cornwall, England and Brussels to accuse China of posing systemic challenges to the world order.
Governments attributed formal intrusion into the Microsoft Exchange Server that was revealed in March to "cyber actors affiliated with" China's Ministry of State Security, Blinken said.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Chinese officials have previously said that China is also a victim of hacking and opposes all forms of cyber attacks.
U.S. officials said the scale and scale of hacking attributed to China has surprised them, along with China's use of "criminal contract hackers."
"The PRS Department of State Security (MSS) has promoted an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain," Blinken said.
US security and intelligence services will outline more than 50 techniques and procedures that "China's state-sponsored actors" use to target U.S. networks, a senior administration official said, "within a few days of the vulnerability being disclosed," said the 31-page U.S. cyber-security adviser Reuters.
has in recent months focused a lot of attention on Russia when it accused Russian cyber hackers of a series of ransomware attacks. Microsoft has already accused China of liability.  The operation specifically exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft's exchange program, a common e-mail software. Cyber-security experts were shaken by the scale and volume of the incident and amounted to thousands of potential American victims.
The senior official of the Biden administration said that the US concern about Chinese cyber activities has been raised with senior Chinese officials. "We do not rule out further action to hold China accountable," the official said.
The United States and China have already been in conflict with trade, China's military build-up, violence against democracy activists in Hong Kong, treatment of the Uighurs in the Xinjiang region and aggression in the South China Sea.
On Friday, the Biden administration issued a warning to warn US companies of the risks to their operations and activities in Hong Kong following China's introduction of a new national security law there last year.
Mr. Blinken cited the Justice Department's accusation of the three Chinese security officials and a contract hacker as an example of how the United States will impose consequences.
The defendants and officials of the Hainan State Security Department, a regional state security office, tried to conceal. the role of the Chinese government in the information theft by using a front company, according to the indictment, which was returned in May and unfinished on Friday.
The campaign targeted trade secrets in industries including aviation, defense, education, government, healthcare, biopharmaceuticals and maritime, the State Department said in a statement.
The victims were in Austria, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States
. what other countries are doing, blatantly violating all its bilateral and multilateral commitments, "said US Deputy Secretary of Justice Lisa Monaco in the statement. Catalog