Microsoft could have prevented Chinese hackers from hacking American officials – Kommersant

Microsoft could have prevented Chinese hackers from hacking American officials - Kommersant


The Cyber ​​Security Review Board (CSRB) of the US Department of the Interior has published report with conclusions about an incident in the summer of 2023, when foreign hackers managed to gain access to the email accounts of American officials. In its report, the CSRB accused Microsoft of systematic errors in its efforts to ensure the security of its services.

Let us remind you that in July 2023 it became known that a group of hackers took advantage of a vulnerability in Microsoft cloud services to gain access to the mailboxes of senior American officials responsible for US-China relations. Initially, intelligence agencies assumed that the damage from the attack was insignificant, but in September, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller statedthat hackers managed to download about 60 thousand emails relating only to this ministry.

Microsoft said the attack was carried out by the hacker group Storm-0558, which is associated with the Chinese government. The attackers managed to gain access to the emails of US Ambassador to Beijing Nicholas Burns, US Deputy Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Kritenbrink, and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

According to the CSRB, this attack by Chinese hackers was “preventable.” The commission found “a number of Microsoft operational and strategic decisions” that collectively indicate a lack of focus on security and risk management that conflicts with the level of trust customers have in the company to protect their data and transactions.

The Commission recommended that Microsoft review its product security policies and present a plan of specific actions in this direction.

Microsoft thanked the CSRB for its work, noting that the company has fully cooperated with the commission. “While no organization is immune to cyberattacks from well-resourced attackers, we have mobilized our engineering teams to identify and mitigate legacy infrastructure, improve operations and ensure compliance with security regulations,” quotes Reuters Microsoft statement.

Read more about the incident in the material “Chinese hackers stripped US diplomats of immunity”.

Kirill Sarkhanyants


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