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A member of the hacking group Red Hacker Alliance monitoring global cyberattacks on his computer at their office in Dongguan, China's southern Guangdong province. Photo: Nicolas Sfouri/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese Communist Party is believed to be responsible for newly found hack attacks on the U.S. government, businesses and American infrastructure, cybersecurity company Mandiant said Wednesday.

Why it matters: This is the third major cybersecurity breach to hit the U.S. in recent months — including two in March blamed on hackers linked to China's government: one targeting 30,000 U.S. victims, including small businesses and local governments, the other hitting Microsoft.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Charles Carmakal, a senior vice president of Mandiant, told NBC News Wednesday, "We're starting to see a resurgence of espionage activity from the Chinese government."

Driving the news: The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a statement Tuesday that the breach was "affecting U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and other private sector organizations."

Zoom in: Carmakal said in an emailed statement that Mandiant "recently responded to multiple security incidents involving the exploitation of Pulse Secure VPN appliances," which is used by businesses for remote work.

  • The breach affected "dozens of organizations including government agencies, financial entities, and defense companies" in the U.S. and Europe, he said.
  • "We suspect these intrusions align with data and intelligence collection objectives by China," Carmakal added.
  • Per Carmakal, the hackers bypassed the multifactor authentication on Pulse Secure devices to access the as-yet unnamed victims' networks, accessing these sites "for several months without being detected."
"We believe that multiple cyber espionage groups are using these exploits and tools, and there are some similarities between portions of this activity and a Chinese actor we call APT5. "
— Carmakal

Of note: President Biden took office a month after cybersecurity firm SolarWinds announced it was hacked in December, in a breach that was later discovered to be part of a massive cyberattack by suspected Russian hackers on multiple government agencies and U.S. firms.

Go deeper

Senate confirms Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general

Lisa Monaco during a confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., in March 2021. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Image

The Senate voted 98-2 on Tuesday to confirm Lisa Monaco as deputy attorney general for the Justice Department, making her the agency's second highest-ranking official.

Why it matters: Monaco is expected to play a key role in Attorney General Merrick Garland's pledge to crack down on violence from domestic extremist groups, including the department's sweeping investigation of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutor to seek hate crime charges, death penalty in Atlanta shootings

In Hopkinton, Mass., the Rally & Run To Stop Asian Hate is held to show solidarity in the wake of deadly Atlanta shootings and to mourn the loss of eight lives including six Asian women. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors unveiled murder charges against the white man accused of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas, AP reports.

Driving the news: A prosecutor filed notice that she plans to seek hate crime charges and the death penalty in the case. Two separate grand juries have now indicted the suspect on murder charges.

America's pandemic coin crunch returns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An early pandemic problem that plagued businesses is back: not enough change to go around.

Why it matters: The pandemic broke America's coin flow. It has repercussions for millions that rely on it for daily transactions.

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