According to the US Secret Service, a Chinese hacking group stole over $20 million from various COVID-19 relief funds in several states.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, APT41 is a group that is reportedly responsible for carrying out cyberespionage operations on behalf of the Chinese government. It was identified as the "workhorse" of this scheme, and NBC reported that it was working to benefit the Chinese government. This is the first instance that the US government has acknowledged a case of fraud related to foreign government activities.
APT41 is a cyberthreat group that is mainly composed of Chinese nationals who are skilled at conducting financial crimes and espionage for personal gain. Although it's not clear if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ordered the attack, it still represents a serious and dangerous threat to the US.
According to unnamed government officials, the true goal of the attack is to collect the personal data of US citizens and various institutions. It's also aimed at getting the information China can use to conduct espionage.
APT41 is known for its ability to carry out complex and sophisticated attacks, which have a direct impact on the country's security. One former official noted that the group has the necessary resources and patience to carry out these attacks.
According to Ambassador Nathaniel Fick, the United States is regarded as the target of APT41 due to its status as a competitor. He noted that the country has a well-thought-out and executed strategy against this threat.
The Secret Service claimed that it has recovered about half of the stolen money. The government's attempts at providing financial assistance to the public following the COVID-19 pandemic have been known for fraud. Many prominent individuals and politically connected businesses received funds while struggling small business owners were given a pass.
Around 20% of the funds allocated for the pandemic were mispaid by the Department of Labor. An analysis conducted by the Heritage Foundation revealed that the agency overpaid about $340 billion in unemployment benefits from April 2020 to May 2021.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on AM Greatness.