The U.S. may have just been the target of a China sponsored attack and it is likely that it will costs the country as much as $360 billion. Reports now indicate that the attacks have been going on for some time now and there’s no telling yet how much has been stolen and how many have been compromised.
It is especially alarming when various branches of the United States government would issue different warnings about a cyber attack that has apparently been going on for some time now.
Private companies and contractors have recently been on the receiving end of various alerts regarding “compromised sensitive business information from US commercial and government networks through cyber espionage.”
This is how the May 2 alert from the FBI read. Other alerts with similar messages came from Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Analysis Report as well as the Defense Security Service, which is under the Department of Defense.
According to a report from Forbes, America’s chief counterintelligence official William Evanina had estimated that hacking espionage would costs U.S. companies about $400 billion last November. And since Beijing is believed to be responsible for about 90 percent of these attacks, China may have directly cost America around $360 billion.
It seems that the information theft has been going on as far back as 2011 and evidence seems to point out that the culprit is none other than the Chinese.
The reason that many are pointing out to China’s involvement is because of a group named APT6. It is believed to be a group sponsored by the state that specializes in cyber attacks and espionage. And from 2011 up to present, APT6 has been acquiring information from both the U.S. government and commercial workers.
In fact, Motherboard reported that the same group is believed to be responsible for millions of data regarding government workers being stolen from the Office of Personnel Management.
At the same time, Arbor Networks has also recently released a report, saying that the same group is behind an exploiting tool, which as been dubbed the Four Element Sword Builder.
This is reportedly used “to weaponize Microsoft Office documents” for use in “long-running threat campaign” against the Tibetan community as well as both journalists and human rights workers in Hong Kong and Taiwan.