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America officially holds China responsible for the Microsoft breaches

USA-ALSHARQIYA July 20: The United States and several countries around the world have officially accused China of being responsible for the cyber attacks that affected Microsoft Exchange servers dedicated to e-mail.

The US State Department said in a statement, Monday, that the United States and countries around the world hold "the People's Republic of China responsible for the pattern of irresponsible, disruptive, and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace, which poses a significant threat to our economic and national security."

Hackers took advantage of a loophole in Microsoft's software and planted malicious programs in it to hack thousands of devices last March.

Washington added that "the Ministry of State Security of the People's Republic of China (MSS) has strengthened an ecosystem of criminal hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain."

“The US government, along with our allies and partners, has officially confirmed that cyber actors associated with MSS exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange servers in a massive cyber espionage operation that indiscriminately hacked into thousands of computers and networks, most of which belong to the industry. The private".

The State Department noted that, according to the indictment issued by the US Department of Justice, on Monday, against three Chinese Ministry of State Security and a contract hacker, the United States "will impose consequences on harmful cyber actors in the People's Republic of China for their irresponsible behavior in cyberspace."

"Apart from the direct commitments of the People's Republic of China not to engage in online intellectual property theft for commercial gain, the international community has set clear expectations and guidelines for what constitutes responsible behavior in cyberspace," the Foreign Ministry noted in its statement.

“Responsible states do not indiscriminately compromise the security of global networks and do not intentionally harbor, let alone sponsor or cooperate with cybercriminals. These contract hackers have cost governments and companies billions of dollars in intellectual property theft, ransom payments, and cybersecurity threats, all while the Department of State Security has been (of China) is adding them to their payroll."

Washington stressed the United States' endeavor to work with partners and allies "to promote responsible state behavior in cyberspace, combat cybercrime, and oppose digital authoritarianism."

It noted that it "provides support for countries committed to building their capacity to protect their digital networks, investigate and impose consequences for malicious cyber actors, and participate in international conversations on cyber policy."

The State Department affirmed its commitment to "moving this agenda forward, and we call on all countries that wish to see greater stability in cyberspace to join us in these efforts."

For its part, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union condemned China's cyber activities.

In its first public condemnation of China over piracy, NATO called on Beijing to fulfill its international obligations and obligations "and to act responsibly in the international system, including in cyberspace."

The coalition said it was determined to "deter, defend, and counter a full range of cyber threats".

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