WASHINGTON — The U.S. and its allies have come out with all guns blazing this week, accusing Beijing of supporting Chinese officials who are hiring criminal hacking groups that are targeting individuals and companies worldwide for profit.
Here are the details: CNN reports that the U.S. and its foreign allies accused China of supporting widespread criminality in cyberspace on Monday, July 19.
The U.S. says the crimes that China helped support include a massive hack of Microsoft's email system and other ransomware attacks against U.S. companies.
In a coordinated announcement, the White House and governments in Europe and Asia accused China's Ministry of State Security of using "criminal contract hackers" to conduct a range of destabilizing activities around the world for personal profit.
White House officials said they were surprised by the extent of Chinese involvement in hiring criminal networks to invade and extort money around the world.
One official said at least one American company had been targeted for a large ransom by hackers working in association with the Chinese intelligence service.
While the public announcement represents a dramatic escalation in the increasingly urgent attempt by the Biden administration to stave off further breaches, Biden stopped short of applying new punishment against Beijing.
Unlike many of the attacks emanating from Russia, the extortion attempts from China have closer links to the government, according to administration officials.
Those attacks include cyber-enabled extortion, crypto-jacking and theft from victims around the world for financial gain, along with ransomware attacks against companies demanding millions of dollars.