Hackers linked to Chinese government stole millions in Covid benefits, Secret Service says

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Hackers linked to the Chinese government stole at least $20 million in U.S. Covid relief benefits, including Small Business Administration loans and unemployment insurance funds in over a dozen states, according to the Secret Service.

The theft of taxpayer funds by the Chengdu-based hacking group known as APT41 is the first instance of pandemic fraud tied to foreign, state-sponsored cybercriminals that the U.S. government has acknowledged publicly, but may just be the tip of the iceberg, according to U.S. law enforcement officials and cybersecurity experts.

The officials and experts, most speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject matter, say other federal investigations of pandemic fraud also seem to point back to foreign state-affiliated hackers.

The Secret Service declined to confirm the scope of other investigations, saying there are more than 1,000 ongoing investigations involving transnational and domestic criminal actors defrauding public benefits programs, and APT41 is “a notable player.”

READ MORE: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/chinese-hackers-covid-fraud-millions-rcna5963