Chinese government-backed hackers compromised the computer system of 6 US states

Expert hackers backed by the Chinese government are said to have compromised the computer networks of 6 state governments in the United States in 2021.

Hackers broke into the computer systems of 6 states

According to Bloomberg, a private cybersecurity firm called Mandiant said the intrusion began in May 2021 and continued through December 2021.

The firm believes a Chinese hacking group called APT41 is responsible for the breaches, but they did not disclose the compromised states or the motive for the hack.

APT41 is notoriously known for launching hacking operations for both financial gain and espionage.

Also Read: Microsoft: Chinese Hackers Use Zero Day to Exploit SolarWinds Software

Geoff Ackerman, senior threat analyst at Reston, Mandiant Inc., said that while the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has captured the world’s attention and the potential for Russian cyber threats is very high, it is important to remember that other major threat actors in other countries continue their operations.

Ackerman added that they couldn’t drop other cyber activities, especially since APT41’s illegal activities continue to this day.

Several state agencies remain vulnerable to hackers, even as the Biden administration announced additional measures to protect federal government systems from hacking.

This is of urgent concern in light of the SolarWinds spy campaign in which Russian intelligence agents used supply chain vulnerabilities to break into the networks of 9 agencies in the United States and dozens of private sector companies.

In this case, the report pointed out that hackers used an unknown vulnerability in an off-the-shelf commercial application used by 18 states for animal health management.

Additionally, they exploited a software flaw known as Log4j which was discovered in December 2021, and officials in the United States said it was present in millions of devices.

Hackers began exploiting the vulnerability just hours after the advisory was published, using it to challenge two government networks.

Rufus Brown, senior threat analyst at Mandiant, said hackers persisted in accessing government networks, and this was shown by re-compromising previous victims and targeting multiple agencies within the same state. This whole ordeal shows that whatever hackers are looking for, it matters.

The report published by Mandiant links the hack to APT41, which was implicated in a 2020 Justice Department indictment that accused Chinese hackers of targeting more than 100 companies and institutions in the United States and other countries. country. Targets include social media companies, universities, video game companies and telecommunications providers.

The report says APT41 continues to be undeterred by the US Department of Justice or the DOJ. Meanwhile, the Chinese government has denied the hacking charges, according to ABC News.

Acquisition of Mandiant by Google

Due to the dangers of hacking and the obvious lack of security, Google has announced that it has acquired security company Mandiant. The search giant bought the security firm for $5.4 billion on March 8.

The acquisition will not only protect the company, but it will also protect Google Cloud users, according to CNBC.

In 2015, Chinese hackers grafted themselves onto the Forbes website to attack US defence.

In 2021, Facebook caught Chinese hackers targeting Uyghurs in the United States.

Related article: Chinese hackers allegedly target US and international government agencies via Pulse secure VPN devices flaw

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Written by Sophie Webster

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