The European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom, in almost simultaneous official statements, formally blame the Chinese government for this spring’s massive cyberattacks.
In early March, it became clear that tens of thousands of companies and organizations worldwide were affected by a cyber attack through a hole in the Microsoft Exchange email program.According to the British government, as many as 250,000 servers worldwide received the unwanted visit of a cyberattackers.
Almost immediately there were suspicions that the Hafnium hacker group, which operates from China and is perhaps state-funded, was behind the attacks. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of the UK Government now confirms this. According to the NCSC, this is most likely a large-scale espionage operation, targeting both personal information and intellectual property. According to British experts, there is also a high probability that Hafnium has ties to the Chinese government.
Hafnium, APT 40 and APT 31
Both the UK government and EU High Representative Josep Borrell also explicitly mention the hacker groups APT (“Advanced Persistent Threat”) 40 and APT 31. These two groups, too, would have been directly controlled by the Chinese government to spy on companies and key political institutions and steal intellectual property.
”We continue to urge the Chinese authorities not to allow their territory to be used for malicious cyber activities, and to take all appropriate measures to detect and address the problem, ” says Borrell.
The United States is also stepping up diplomatic pressure. According to US media, Washington will soon publish detailed evidence confirming that Beijing was behind the large-scale cyber attacks.