Hackers Linked to China's APT41 Stole $20 Million in COVID Relief Funds
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In the first instance of pandemic fraud tied to foreign, state-sponsored cybercriminals that the U.S. government has acknowledged publicly, the Secret Service said that hackers linked to the Chinese government, the hacking group known as APT41, 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.
The Covid fraud scheme that the Secret Service has publicly linked to APT41 began mid-2020 and spanned 2,000 accounts associated with more than 40,000 financial transactions. The agency said it had recovered about half of the stolen $20 million in the APT41 case.
Officials and experts say other federal investigations of pandemic fraud also seem to point back to foreign state-affiliated hackers. The Secret Service said there are more than 1,000 ongoing investi…
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