Chinese Hackers Stole Millions Worth of U.S. COVID Relief Money

It was revealed by the US Secret Service on Monday that Chinese hackers stole tens of millions of dollars of COVID relief benefits from the U.S. since 2020.

The Secret Service declined to give specifics, but the NBC News report confirmed that a Chinese hacking team by the name of APT41, known in the security research community as Winnti, has pulled out the money.

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This cybercrime group was adept at government-backed and financially-motivated cyberattacks according to experts.

In 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Justice Department indicted several members of the hacking group for spying on over 100 companies, including software developers, telecommunications providers, social media companies, and video game developers.

“Regrettably, the Chinese Communist Party has chosen a different path of making China safe for cybercriminals so long as they attack computers outside China and steal intellectual property helpful to China,” former Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said at the time.

As of press time, the Chinese embassy in Washington had not responded to a request for comment.

Jean Harris

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