China Rejects Charges Over Microsoft Exchange Attack


China: Accused of being behind the attacks on Microsoft Exchange in March, in addition to allegedly leading other malicious campaigns globally, China decided to speak out. Rebutting the allegations, the Asian country stated that the complaints are “fabricated”.

In a press conference on Tuesday (20), the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Zhao Lijian, rejected the accusations. “The United States has joined with its allies in making unwarranted accusations against Chinese cybersecurity,” commented the government official.

Lijian also said the act appeared to have a political purpose and declared that China “strongly opposes and combats all forms of cyberattacks.” During the press conference, he also declared that the US would be primarily responsible for cyberespionage worldwide.

Using data from a Chinese security company, the spokesman accused the US government of carrying out attacks and online raids against the country 11 years ago. The aerospace, oil and internet sectors, as well as government agencies and educational and research institutions, would be among the targets of these malicious actions, according to Zhao.

Attack affected thousands of companies

The campaign aimed at Microsoft’s corporate email service affected at least 30,000 organizations across multiple countries. Exploiting a flaw in the Redmond giant’s tool, cyber criminals were able to access email accounts remotely for data extraction.

For US officials, the attacks were part of a broader pattern of “reckless” behavior, capable of threatening global security, and would be sponsored by China. The European Union, Australia, New Zealand and the UK followed the US in the report.

There was also the indictment against four Chinese citizens, by the US Department of Justice, holding them responsible for ransomware attacks that occurred from 2011 to 2018. The Chinese body also repudiated the allegations.