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Following the spectacular Solar Winds hack in 2020 attributed to Russian intelligence intelligence services (either or both the Foreign Intelligence Service – SVR and Military Intelligence Service – GRU), I noted that China may have also “piggy-backed” on the hacking Russian efforts. And we have increasingly been seeing evidence of just that.

The latest example of China’s growing hacking campaign occurred as a sophisticated attack on Microsoft’s widely used business email software is morphing into a global cybersecurity crisis.

Microsoft has stated that this massive attack began with a Chinese government-backed hacking group, and has so far claimed at least 60,000 known victims globally, reports the LA Times. Many of them, the Times notes, “appear to be businesses caught in a wide net the attackers cast as Microsoft worked to shut down the hack.”

“The European Banking Authority became one of the latest victims as it said Sunday that access to personal data through emails held on the Microsoft server may have been compromised. Others identified so far include banks and electricity providers,” explained the Times.

But the Chinese hack goes much deeper. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said on Twitter that the White House was “closely tracking” the reports that the vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange were being used in “potential compromises of U.S. think tanks and defense industrial base entities.”

However, the White House needs to do more than just “track’ these attacks. This rapidly escalating attack comes months after the SolarWinds breaches by suspected Russian intelligence. The Biden administration has focused primarily on the Russian hacks and plans retaliation against Moscow. The New York Times reports that:

The first major move is expected over the next three weeks, officials said, with a series of clandestine actions across Russian networks that are intended to be evident to President Vladimir V. Putin and his intelligence services and military but not to the wider world.

The officials added that these clandestine actions would be combined with economic sanctions — though, as the NYT notes, “there are few truly effective sanctions left to impose.” This, especially after the extensive and expansive list of sanctions imposed by President Trump against Russia.

But now the Biden administration must face the reality that Russia isn’t the only hacking threat, something Team Trump repeatedly emphasized. Russia may not even be the most serious hacking threat.

These latest Chinese backed cyberattacks may force a reluctant Joe Biden to finally accept this reality and strike back at America’s other major, if not primary, adversary: China.


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Craig Murphy
Craig Murphy
8 months ago

There’s a dangerous foe that’s actually penetrating our southern border and all they call it is a humanitarian crisis.

Elizabeth Estrada
Elizabeth Estrada
8 months ago

LISTEN UP….There was FOREIGN INTEFEReNCE in the 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. That ALONE Should OVERTURN the ELECTION. PREZ TRUMP Won By a LANDSLIDE. 105 MILLION LEGAL VOTES..includes SWITCHED and TRASHED VOTES. GOD Revealed this to Me. I Believe GOD. GOD is NOT a LIAR. HE is the TRUTH. From SamuraiQueen. 😄😄😄

Củ Thìu Biu
Củ Thìu Biu
8 months ago

Amen

Rick
Rick
8 months ago

The truth is, that liberalism is the biggest enemy of our freedom. It is the enemy within that calls themselves democrats. I tell you, this is not the same democrats that your grandpa used to vote for. These are communist working to destroy us from the inside.

Recce1
Recce1
8 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Actually, the biggest foes to America are Republicans, Conservatives and Libertarians. Those who take an exegetical approach to interpreting that piece of paper called the Constitution, which stands for a piece of rag called the flag, are a seditious traitorous menace to pure DEMOCRACY – the socialist welfare nanny one-party state.

(SATIRE) – I agree totally with you. But what I wrote above is about the OFFICIAL MANTRA of the socialist Democrat Party and its Pravda minions, the liberal MSM.

Thanks and a thumbs up.