Chinese hackers crack e-mail accounts Western institutions

Chinese hackers crack e-mail accounts Western institutions

Chinese hackers have managed to access the email accounts of 25 Western companies and organizations, including several US government departments. Once inside, they searched for sensitive information sent or received via email. Beijing denies any involvement in the hacking attacks.

Microsoft discovered the digital intrusion and alerted the affected companies and organizations.

No confidential information stolen

On Friday, June 16, Microsoft received the first signals that something was wrong. In the following weeks, the American hardware and software company investigated ‘anomalous email activity’ and discovered that Storm-0558 had accessed the email accounts of about 25 Western companies and organizations since mid-May. The hackers managed to penetrate the email accounts by using forged authentication tokens.Storm-0558 is a hacker group affiliated with the Chinese government. The group members have only one goal: to hack into email accounts to gather intelligence. 

The Washington Post writes that no confidential information has reached the Chinese.

China denies allegations

Which authorities they have broken into leaves Microsoft in the middle. According to The Washington Post, the attackers were able to read for weeks at various US government agencies, including some ministries. The Pentagon, intelligence services and the military would have been unaffected. Microsoft has reached out to all affected customers.

NOS writes that China denies involvement in the incident and says that Microsoft deliberately spreads disinformation. On the other hand, Beijing argues that the US government carries out cyber attacks on the country. The allegations are said to be nothing more than a diversionary tactic to divert attention from the US attacks.

Dutch security services warn about China

In its annual report, the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) recently warned that China is the greatest threat to the economic security of the Netherlands. “Under Xi Jinping, the emphasis has increasingly shifted to an anti-Western attitude and the emphasis on a communist ideology with Chinese characteristics, which must also be applied in foreign policy,” the security service said.

The MIVD, the military counterpart of the AIVD, states that China is preying on the (military) knowledge and technology that our country has to develop into the world’s largest military, economic and political superpower. Because of our knowledge position in the field of various technologies, the Netherlands is an attractive espionage target for the Chinese.

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