2020 was one of the worst years in at least 50 years if not more. Apart from the riots and lockdowns, the whole thing was an excuse to turn on the money spigot with Democrats and Republicans doling out handfuls of cash in what would become an epic fraud that may never have been equaled. Inflation was the inevitable outcome that no one was allowed to discuss at the time.
But apart from that, much of the money was stolen. And we’ll never know how much or see any real reckoning. We’ve seen estimates like $46 or $78 billion, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.
And this is a tiny tip of the tip of the iceberg.
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.”
We put all of our business online, told people to stay home and began doling out billions. Of course our enemies showed up and robbed us blind. Why wouldn’t they? We all but sent them a signed invitation while our elites and media were congratulating us on how smart we were about the whole thing.
$20 million or $20 billion or $200 billion, who’s counting? The real issue is that our enemies continue to ‘live off the land’ with their cyberwarfare operations, not only prepping for actual military campaigns and spying on us, but also financing their operations with everything from ransomware to online fraud.
And administration after administration continues to let this happen, treats each report as an individual incident for the FBI, instead of viewing this as a war and thinking about how to strike at the enemy.
China not only infected us, it also robbed us. And it’s going to go on escalating until we either fight back or surrender.