Chinese Hackers Take $20 Million in COVID-19 Relief – Secret Service

  • According to the Secret Service, at least $20 million was stolen by a Chinese hacker group from the US government.
  • The Secret Service confirmed to NBC Monday that the funds were meant for COVID-19 Relief.
  • According to the Secret Service APT41, a Chinese state-sponsored cybercriminal group, are responsible for hacking.

The Secret Service reported Monday that a group of Chinese hackers had stolen at least $20,000,000 in COVID-19 relief funds, which were being held by the US government.

A Secret Service spokesperson told NBC News that APT41, a Chinese state-sponsored cyber criminal groupHe was responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from government coffers. According to NBC, these funds included small-business loans and unemployment relief in more then a dozen states.

In a statement, the Secret Service also said to NBC that APT41 was a Chinese state-sponsored, cyberthreat organization that is highly adept in financial crimes and espionage missions.

A March report from Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, showed how the computer networks of at least six state governments were hacked by APT41 in 2021.

“The United States of America is the No. 1 target 1. We are the competitor No. Nathaniel Fick is the head of the cyberspace and digital policy bureau at the state department. He told NBC. “It is a comprehensive, multi-decade strategy that is well-thought, well resourced, well-planned, and well executed.

Roy Dotson, a Pandemic Frau Recovery Coordinator at the Secret Service, told NBC that he believed it was likely that APT41 had targeted funds in all 50 US states. On CNNDotson said Monday that APT41 was a “notable actor” in the “more then 1,000 ongoing investigations involving transnational criminal actors defrauding public benefit programs.” 

Talk to ReutersRepresentatives from China’s Washington embassy stated that China has “firmly against and cracked down upon all forms of hacking and cyber theft.” The embassy declared hacking accusations against China “baseless.” 

Insider asked for comment from representatives of the Secret Service, and the Chinese Embassy in Washington.

Maryland takes retaliation for security threats

At least one US State has moved to retaliate towards Chinese entities they suspect may pose a security threat. MarylandOn Tuesday, an emergency directive was issued prohibiting state agencies from using TikTok. It also prohibited other Chinese or Russian technology such as those from ZTE and Huawei.

These products “present an unacceptable level cybersecurity risk to the state,” and the state has a reasonable belief that they participate “in activities including the collection of sensitive personal information inappropriately and cyber-espionage or misinformation campaigns and surveillance of government agencies,” Maryland’s top Information Security Officer stated in the directive.

Insider was informed by a TikTok spokesperson about the concerns surrounding driving such bansThey are “largely fuelled by misinformation.”

The spokesperson stated that TikTok will no longer be available to many state agencies, offices, universities, and universities that had been using it to build communities and connect to constituents.

Insider reached out to ZTE, Huawei, Tencent, Tencent, Kaspersky, and Tencent but they did not immediately reply.

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