Brussels/Washington, 19 July 2021 (dpa/MIA) – The United States backed by NATO and EU allies on Monday condemned a series of cyberattacks allegedly carried out at the behest of the Chinese state, in particular the hacking of Microsoft Exchange servers earlier this year.
The attacks enabled hackers to gain access to computer networks around the world via Microsoft Exchange servers, and are estimated to have affected over a quarter of a million servers worldwide.
Most of the victims were in the private sector, according to a statement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
China’s Ministry of State Security “has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain,” the statement said.
NATO, Britain, Canada and the European Union also issued statements over the Microsoft Exchange Server hack.
The EU, which imposed its first ever sanctions for cybersanctions on China along with Russia last year, said the incident had “undermined the security and integrity of thousands of computers and networks worldwide.”
Hackers continue to exploit the access gained to date, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said.
US President Joe Biden has been pushing a tough course against China since he took office. The Biden administration imposed sanctions against Russia in the past because of hacker attacks.