US, allies blame China-linked hackers for Microsoft Exchange breach
BY MORGAN CHALFANT
19 July 2021
The U.S., European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO on Monday criticized China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) for using criminal contract hackers to conduct cyber-enabled extortion, “crypto-jacking” and other schemes.
The U.S. government has with “high confidence” formally attributed the exploitation of vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Exchange Server application to malicious cyber actors affiliated with China’s MSS. Other nations also attributed the cyberattack to Chinese government-linked hackers.
Microsoft had previously said it believed a hacking group known as “HAFNIUM,” a Chinese-state sponsored hacking group, was exploiting the vulnerabilities in the program. U.S. officials had said they were working to attribute the hack, which was first detected in March. Hackers used zero-day exploits to attack versions of Microsoft’s Exchange Server application and hack into victims’ email accounts.