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

There’s trillions of tax dollars “missing” from US coffers.

As soon as state governments began disbursing Covid unemployment funds in 2020, cybercriminals began to siphon off a significant percentage.

The Labor Department Office of Inspector General has reported an improper payment rate of roughly 20% for the $872.5 billion in federal pandemic unemployment funds, though the true cost of the fraud is likely higher, administration officials from multiple agencies say.

In-depth analysis of four states showed 42.4% of pandemic benefits were paid improperly in the first six months, the department’s watchdog reported to Congress last week.

“Once you are in these systems with intent to promulgate theft” of personally identifying information, Evanina said, “you’re in forever,” noting that at the state and local levels, many disparate systems share an interconnected domain. “Unless,” he said, “you tear down the systems and replace everything.”

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