Washington, US: US Secretary of State slammed China for its irresponsible, disruptive, and destabilizing behaviour in cyberspace, which now poses a major threat to the economy and national security.
Responding to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for destabilizing and irresponsible behaviour in cyberspace, Blinken said, “The United States and countries around the world are holding the PRC accountable. The PRC’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) has fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers who carry out both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain.”
“United States government, alongside our allies and partners, has formally confirmed that cyber actors affiliated with the MSS exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server in a massive cyber-espionage operation that indiscriminately compromised thousands of computers and networks, mostly belonging to private sector victims, added Blinken.
Moreover, three MSS officers and one of their contract hackers unsealed by the Department of Justice was indicted today and the US has decided to impose consequences on PRC malicious cyber actors for their irresponsible behaviour in cyberspace.
Apart from the PRC’s direct commitments not to engage in cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property for commercial gain, the international community has laid out clear expectations and guidelines for what constitutes responsible behaviour in cyberspace.
Blinken emphasized that the responsible states do not indiscriminately compromise global network security nor knowingly harbour cybercriminals- neither sponsor or collaborate with them.
The contract hackers cost governments and businesses billions of dollars in stolen intellectual property, ransom payments, and cybersecurity mitigation efforts, all while the MSS had them on its payroll, said Blinken in a statement.
Further, Blinken reiterated that the United States is working with partners and allies to promote responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, counter cybercrime, and oppose digital authoritarianism.
“We are also providing support to countries that are committed to building their capacity to protect their digital networks, investigate and impose consequences on malicious cyber actors, and participate in international conversations on cyber policy. These efforts will enhance global security and stability in cyberspace. The State Department is committed to driving this agenda forward, and we call upon all states that wish to see greater stability in cyberspace to join us in these efforts,” said Blinken.