PowerKee’s Bastion of Privacy #33 — China denies involvement in Microsoft hack, accusing the U.S. of conspiracy
A cyber war between the United States and China is growing more intense after an accusation that China was behind the hack on Microsoft Exchange. The hack, which is said to have affected at least 30,000 organizations, was targeted at the system that powers the email of major corporations, small businesses, and many other public bodies across the globe.
China has denied the allegation that it was behind the attack and described the allegation as a fabrication by the U.S. and its allies. China has also reiterated its opposition to all forms of cyber-crime as it dissociates itself from any involvement with this latest development.
In the latest Bastion of Privacy, we analyze the recent Microsoft hack reports. We also noted the reasons underlying the accusations made by the US and its allies against China. Finally, we consider the response and denial by China as the entire scenario exposes the weaknesses of traditional cybersecurity systems. Before diving into this week’s content, we have an important update on PowerKee development.
PowerKee wallet released to beta testers
After a long development process, we are happy to release the PowerKee wallet to a selection of beta-testers. Over the past months, we have been building and refining both the frontend and backend of this sublime privacy-focused wallet. This will be the core wallet for users who wish to access the broad anonymity features of the PowerKee networks.
At PowerKee, we prioritize users’ security. Although the wallet has made significant progress, we still need to put the technology through a rigorous testing process to ensure that any potential bugs are addressed. We are thrilled that our beta testers will help us through this process.
Microsoft Exchange attack and accusations against China
The attack on Microsoft Exchange was initially reported earlier this year. At the time, Microsoft released emergency security updates that were targeted at plugging some security holes in its Exchange server versions from 2013 through 2019. At the time, a Chinese hacking crew called Hafnium was fingered by Microsoft to be behind the attack with at least 30,000 U.S. organizations affected.
The attack was a heist that lasted for a couple of days with the hackers creating a “web shell” that allowed them to retain administrative access to their victims’ computer servers. China denied any involvement in the incident as a state and has maintained its stand despite repeated accusations, especially from the U.S.
After several months of investigation and follow-up, the U.S. and other Western countries once again accused China of being behind the attack. They regarded the Microsoft hack as a part of a broader pattern of what was described as “reckless” behavior that threatened global security.
More accusations and denials
According to a U.S. cybersecurity firm, a secretive branch of China’s military is probably one of the world’s “most prolific cyber espionage groups”. The firm accuses the unit of having “systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations around the world”.
Responding to the accusation by the U.S. and several other countries from the West, Chinese spokesperson Zhao Lijian described the accusation as being “purely a smear and suppression with political motives”. He notes that it is an accusation that is “made out of thin air and confuses right and wrong”, insisting that China will never accept it.
The current situation appears to be deepening the rift between the U.S. and China even more. The back and forth on the issue has continued to linger with no party showing any signs of backing down. It gets even deeper as other nations from the West have joined the U.S. in accusing China of the incident that they have vehemently denied.
The world needs better cybersecurity systems
Developments like this and the lack of clarity in the investigative process exposes the weaknesses and limitations of traditional cybersecurity systems. The extent of the risks suffered by the victims of the hack might be irrecoverable as the privacy of their data can no longer be guaranteed. This is one of the reasons for the emergence of innovative systems that focus on privacy and anonymity in online processes.
Privacy-focused cryptocurrency networks like PowerKee enable netizens to carry out financial transactions while maintaining anonymity. They ensure the anonymous transfer of value and offer a greater degree of security
While governments and blue-chip enterprises like Microsoft will never turn to such solutions due to regulatory scrutiny, they remain viable for the everyday internet user. As the user data stored by enterprises remains at risk in an increasingly hostile online environment, privacy-focused solutions like PowerKee become an attractive alternative for such users.
PowerKee is a cryptocurrency network that makes privacy easy. Users can transact cheaply and instantly while maintaining anonymity. The PowerKee protocol uses a mixture of zero-knowledge proofs and coin mixing to provide strong privacy assurances to its users.