Last Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation sent out a notice to several U.S. businesses in the tech industry, warning that they believe many of them are currently being “heavily targeted” by hackers affiliated with the Chinese government.
The Chinese embassy in Washington has very recently responded to the announcement, calling the accusations “unfounded”.
This rather sudden warning claimed that the agency recently acquired information about “a group of Chinese Government affiliated cyber actors who routinely steal high-value information from U.S. commercial and government networks through cyber espionage.”
The document, written by Gianfrancesco Genoso, went on to state that the hackers were using specially customized malicious code specifically designed to remain unnoticed by security companies and federal law enforcement. The document further stated that any business detecting these hackers on their networks should consider it “an indication of a compromise requiring extensive mitigation and contact with law enforcement.”
The FBI document states that the Chinese hackers are targeting “the high tech information technology industry including microchip, digital storage and networking equipment manufacturers, as well as defense contractors in multiple countries and multinational corporations.” It states they are utilizing “zero-day” exploits, which are highly dangerous and efficient exploits using security flaws that federal and private security forces do not even know about yet. If this claim is true, it’s a particularly grim forecast.
FBI spokesman John Campbell confirmed that the document was legitimate and from the FBI itself. He went on to say, “The FBI has recently observed online intrusions that we attribute to Chinese government affiliated actors. Private sector security firms have also identified similar intrusions and have released defensive information related to those intrusions.”