Joint Statement by U.S. and Multiple Allies: China’s Ministry of State Security Hires Criminals to Conduct Malicious Cyber Attacks

The United States and its allies in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region issued an unprecedented joint statement Monday (July 19, 2021) exposing what they said were malicious cyber attacks by China’s Ministry of National Security against the United States and multiple allies, including the hiring of criminals by DSS personnel to commit cyber extortion against private companies for personal gain.

The United States has long accused China of “irresponsible and destabilizing behavior” in cyberspace, but Beijing has never admitted to any cyberattacks against any country or person, saying China itself has been a victim of cyberattacks.

A senior Biden administration official said at a media briefing Sunday that the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and NATO joined the United States in accusing the Chinese government of malicious cyber behavior, showing that Beijing’s cyber behavior not only undermines the security and interests of the United States, but also threatens the economic and national security of many countries around the world.

On Monday, the National Security Agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also jointly released a report detailing more than 50 tactics, techniques and methods used by cyber hackers backed by the Chinese government to launch attacks on U.S. and allied computer networks, including an attack on Microsoft’s email system last March.

The senior U.S. official said at the briefing that the U.S. government raised the attack on Microsoft’s email system and Beijing’s broader malicious cyber behavior directly with senior Chinese government officials, saying the United States and its allies and partners would not rule out further action to hold China accountable.

The official said sharing intelligence on cyber threats with allies would help in the joint defense against Chinese cyber attacks and extortion.