The United States, the UK, and other allies have explicitly linked the Microsoft Exchange attack that affected tens of thousands of organisations to the Chinese government saying it collaborated with criminal gangs to launch large cyberattacks.

On Monday, the Biden government and its international allies said the Chinese government was the mastermind behind a slew of malicious ransomware, data theft, and cyberattacks.

The US also issued a warning notice to government agencies and private firms, accusing Beijing of a pattern of extortion and theft attacks. The warning went on to say that people linked to the Chinese government have carried out ransomware attacks on private firms, demanding millions of dollars.

The EU, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and NATO were among the allies that joined the Biden administration in stinging criticism.

“The Chinese government must put a halt to this systematic cyber sabotage, and if it does not, it can expect to be held accountable,” said UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Also Read: Explained: What is Pegasus spyware, how it works & can it read Whatsapp messages?

Meanwhile, the European Council stated “This irresponsible and destructive behaviour has resulted in major security risks and economic loss for our government institutions and private companies as well. It has shown severe spillover and systemic repercussions for our security, economy, and society as a whole."

Furthermore, it was stated that the council has discovered "malicious cyber activities" by Chinese hacking groups APT40 and APT31 targeting government institutions and political organisations in the EU, as well as European industries, "for the purpose of intellectual property theft and espionage.”

During the pandemic, hackers exploited vulnerabilities exposed by remote employees, resulting in a surge in cyber attacks. Following this, United States is under growing pressure to act.

President Joe Biden cautioned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin earlier this month that failing to act against ransomware attackers, who generally seize a company's data or systems and demand money to release it, will result in consequences.

Following highly disruptive ransomware attacks on firms such as Colonial Pipeline, which was forced to temporarily close and JBS, the world's largest meat processor, Biden made a warning.

US officials were also "surprised" to learn that individuals linked to China's MSS were responsible for a ransomware attack in which hackers demanded millions of dollars from an unnamed US company.

The US also accused four Chinese nationals connected with the Ministry of State Security of hacking into the computer systems of dozens of companies, universities, and government bodies in the United States and overseas between 2011 and 2018. Today, the indictment was made public.

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