Chinese state-backed hackers stole millions in COVID relief, report says




  • In US
  • 2022-12-05 18:07:48Z
  • By The Week
A hacker set up in his office in Dongguan, China.
A hacker set up in his office in Dongguan, China.  

An investigation by the U.S. Secret Service concluded that hackers linked to the Chinese government stole at least $20 million in COVID-19 relief benefits from the United States, NBC News reported Monday.

This marks the first case of pandemic fraud that has been tied to state-sponsored, foreign cybercriminals, the outlet reported.

According to the Secret Service, the theft was perpetrated by a Chengdu-based hacking group called APT41, which was able to steal numerous funds from Small Business Administration loans and unemployment insurance funds.

While the Secret Service was able to verify the fraud occurring in at least a dozen states, agency officials told NBC News that the hacking by APT41 was likely on a much larger scale.

"It would be crazy to think this group didn't target all 50 states," one official said. The Secret Service went onto describe APT41 as a "notable player" in the foreign hacking community. While the agency would not reveal the full scope of its investigation, it said there are currently over 1,000 ongoing investigations "involving transnational and domestic criminal actors defrauding public benefits programs."

The Secret Service said APT41 was already a significant player in the world of foreign hacking by the time the COVID pandemic reared its head, describing the group as the "workhorse" of Chinese government-backed cyber spying.

Since the scope of the pandemic fraud has come to light, federal agencies have been working to get large quantities of stolen money back. The Secret Service said in August that it had recovered $286 million in stolen funds, including some from APT41.

You may also like

How low will gas prices go this winter? 3 analyst predictions.

Home of Iranian climber who competed without hijab reportedly destroyed

United States knocked out of FIFA World Cup following 3-1 loss to the Netherlands

COMMENTS

More Related News

Jan. 6 investigator says FBI, other agencies could have repelled Capitol mob had they acted on intel
Jan. 6 investigator says FBI, other agencies could have repelled Capitol mob had they acted on intel
  • US
  • 2023-02-01 00:36:18Z

The Jan. 6 committee concluded the FBI and other agencies could have repelled the Capitol mob had they acted on intel, the chief investigator told NBC News.

FBI searched Penn Biden Center in November after classified documents were discovered
FBI searched Penn Biden Center in November after classified documents were discovered

The FBI searched the offices of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in mid-November after classified documents were discovered there...

Raskin seeks Trump and Pence visitor information from Secret Service
Raskin seeks Trump and Pence visitor information from Secret Service

House Oversight Democrat Jamie Raskin seeks information on visitors to former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence's homes, where sensitive...

Justice Department denies GOP request on Biden docs investigation
Justice Department denies GOP request on Biden docs investigation

The Justice Department denied House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan's request for sensitive information involving the DOJ's probe into Biden's classified docs.

Rep. Michael McCaul on Air Force general
Rep. Michael McCaul on Air Force general's prediction of war with China: 'I hope he's wrong... I think he's right'

A top congressional Republican on Sunday said he agrees with a memo by a four-star Air Force general that predicts the U.S. will be at war with China in two ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US