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THE NEUTRAL ZONE

President Joe Biden and Western allies condemned China for a massive infiltration of Microsoft Exchange’s email server and accused Beijing of running a hacking ring.

Monday’s announcement included formal charges against four Chinese nationals for targeting trade secrets and costing universities, companies and governments billions in ransoms, upgrades and stolen intellectual property. 

Biden’s administration believes China contracted hackers to work with the government, unlike the recent attacks that originated from Russia, where independent data thieves hacked while Russia reacted indifferently to them. Even so, Biden’s accusations didn’t include proposed sanctions or any kind of retaliation, though he did leave that notion open once the investigation was complete. 

Instead, the announcement emphasized an “unprecedented” group of allies, including the United Kingdom, the European Union, NATO and countries such as Japan, Australia and Canada, coming together to expose and criticize China’s “malicious” cyber activities. It’s the first time NATO’s 30-nation alliance denounced China’s cyberattacks.

“The President is putting forward a common cyber approach with our allies and laying down clear expectations and markers on how responsible nations behave in cyberspace,” the administration’s announcement stated. 

Microsoft said the large backing should ensure that the hackers will be held responsible.

The announcement stems from a new strategy by the Biden administration to stop further attacks from occurring without using blunt force. Secretary of State Antony Blinken talked about the need for more diplomacy while slamming Russia and China in his remarks at a technology summit hosted by the National Security Commission, saying that “our democratic values and way of life” are in danger. 

“More than anything else, our task is to put forth and carry out a compelling vision for how to use technology in a way that serves our people, protects our interests, and upholds democracy,” Blinken said. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

U.S. and key allies accuse China of Microsoft Exchange cyberattacks – Axios – 7/19/2021
Authorities are detailing more than 50 different techniques that Chinese state-sponsored actors used, and offering up recommended mitigations that businesses and organizations can take.

What China Expects From Businesses: Total Surrender – The New York Times – 7/19/2021
But the relationship between Beijing and the tech sector has splintered badly in the past year. Didi is now a target of the government’s regulatory wrath. Days after the company’s initial public offering in New York last month, Chinese regulators pulled its apps from app stores on the grounds of protecting national data security and public interests.

Recent Cyberattack Disrupted Cancer Care Throughout U.S. – Medscape – 7/19/2021
Cyberhacking of healthcare organizations are on the increase, and a recent cyberattack affected oncology care across the United States when hackers disrupted the software for machines that deliver radiotherapy to patients with cancer.

China’s Data Battle Is a Worry For EV Makers – Bloomberg – 7/19/2021
Limits on the use of consumer data, or restrictions on what can be shared with foreign partners and authorities, would have major repercussions on the electric vehicle sector in China. The industry is counting on its vast troves of information to gain an advantage over traditional automakers.

Cyber leaders officially join the ranks as White House grapples with remediation – Utility Dive – 7/19/2021
The swearing in and confirmation of the two national cybersecurity leads comes at a time when the government and critical infrastructure segments, including the energy sector, are face escalating cyber incidents. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Tuesday will hold a hearing to examine the growing threat of ransomware.

More Airline Operators are Being Targeted by Cybercriminals – Softpedia – 7/19/2021
The study notes that the EATM-CERT system identified or received 755 reports of cyberattacks targeting airlines last year. The majority of the attacks, around 95% of all cases, were financially motivated, and in 55% of cases, airline operators incurred financial losses as a result of the attacks. Sensitive data theft or leak accounted for 34% of all reported incidents.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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