How Chinese APT41 stole $20 million from Covid-19 stimulus fund?

According to information obtained from sources within the Secret Service, computer hackers with links to the Chinese government stole at least $20 million in the United States by unlawfully accessing financial assistance funding intended for the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to NBC, police sources and cybersecurity specialists, it is a gang of hackers known as APT41 that is located in Chengdu, and it is thought that this is only the beginning of a bigger fraud plan. APT41 is a group of hackers.

Despite the fact that multiple fraudulent loans totaling millions of dollars and irregular applications for unemployment insurance have been found throughout the country during the pandemic, this is the first time that the government of the United States has identified fraud committed by cybercriminals with ties to a foreign state.

APT41, which had been active for more than a decade, began to work when the federal government and state authorities announced economic assistance initiatives. It is a Chinese state-sponsored cyberthreat outfit, the Secret Service says, and it is “extremely competent at carrying out espionage operations and financial crimes for its own gain.”

The information technology infrastructures of state governments are more susceptible to attacks from outside actors since these governments do not have the most advanced levels of security available.

According to what was revealed by NBC, the APT41 fraud plan started in the middle of the year 2020 and encompassed more than 40,000 financial transactions spread over 2,000 accounts.

Investigations into more than a thousand instances that are open to both local and international criminals are still ongoing, but the Secret Service has been successful in recovering half of the stolen $20 million as of this point.

The specialists who were interviewed by the American chain are skeptical as to whether the Chinese government actively encouraged the incursion of APT41 or if they just turned a blind eye to it.

Although there is no definitive proof of linkages to the Xi Jinping administration, there is a plenty of evidence that points in that direction. APT41 gathered material, for instance, on pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong and about a Buddhist monk in Tibet. Both of these Chinese territories are experiencing some political unrest, and Beijing is concerned about this. Despite the fact that a significant portion of the organization’s actions seem to be driven entirely by financial concerns. During one of the online conversations, it was stated that one of the hackers braggadocio about blackmailing affluent victims.

“I have never previously seen them go for money from the government. According to John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at the cybersecurity company Mandiant, according to NBC, “it would be an escalation.” “It would be crazy to believe that this gang was not targeting all 50 states,” said Roy Dotson, who is the national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator for the Secret Service. “It would be ridiculous to think that this group was not targeting all 50 states.”