While no sanctions have been imposed, Canada has joined the United States, NATO, and others to publicly condemn China for a massive cyber-attack on Microsoft services, which is used by many of the world’s largest governments and private companies.
The breach this past March affected 400,000 Microsoft servers worldwide. Canada believes China’s Ministry of State Security coordinated the attack using different networks of hackers.
“Canada is confident that the PRC’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) is responsible for the widespread compromising of the exchange servers,” Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement Monday.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a statement on Monday that China’s Ministry of State Security “fostered an ecosystem of criminal contract hackers” who he says engage in both state-sponsored activities and cybercrime for their own financial gain.
“These contract hackers cost governments and businesses billions of dollars in stolen intellectual property, ransom payments, and cybersecurity mitigation efforts, all while the MSS had them on its payroll,” Blinken said.
“We call on all states, including China, to uphold their international commitments and obligations and to act responsibly in the international system, including in cyberspace,” according to a statement from NATO.