Microsoft has identified over 40 customers all over the world that were specifically targeted in a massive hacking campaign linked to Russia this week. In a company blog post, it was revealed by the software giant that 80% of the customers are in the US while the rest are in Belgium, Mexico, Canada, Israel, the UK, the UAE and Spain.
“It’s a certainty that the number and location of victims will keep growing,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. He added that the company is working towards notifying the affected organizations. Notably, it was revealed that the list of targets comprises of non-governmental organizations, government agencies and security and other technology firms.
News pertaining to the massive suspected hacking campaign broke a few days back with the revelation that hackers supported by a foreign government have been monitoring email at the US Treasury and Commerce departments. Also, FireEye, a private cybersecurity firm alerted American Intelligence regarding the hackers stating that they have evaded layers of defenses, as per The New York Times.
Suspected Russian Hacking Campaign
As per the blog post, revelations emerged this week hinting that several US government agencies have been breached in the suspected Russian hacking campaign. This is said to have been enabled by a back door built into software from SolarWinds, an Austin-based IT firm.
The malware was delivered on Microsoft’s Orion, which has been installed by over 17,000 customers. This makes us believe that the attack reached many major national capitals outside Russia and heightened the level of vulnerability in the US, Smith added.
Earlier this week, Microsoft stated that its systems were also exposed to the attack. It found malicious code related to the suspected attack in the environment and they have isolated and removed it, said Frank Shaw, Microsoft spokesman via his personal Twitter handle.
However, a Reuters report notes that he denied that Microsoft systems had been used to attack other victims. Shaw stated that they have not found evidence of access to customer data or production services. He added that investigations are going on and they have not found any indications of their systems being used to attack others.
Apparently, the access point was SolarWinds’ Orion network management software. Once hackers added a backdoor to the code, the software connected to the server controlled by the hackers allowed them to launch further attacks against customers and steal data, claimed a report by the Wall Street Journal.
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