China accused of hacking US government emails
A group of Chinese hackers has accessed the email accounts of around 25 organizations, including government agencies, Microsoft reports.
There is no information on where the government agencies are located provided by the software giant.
The US Department of Commerce, however, confirmed to the BBC that Microsoft notified them of the attack.
The breach affected individuals including Gina Raimondo, secretary of commerce.
As soon as Microsoft notified the Department of a compromise, the Department took immediate action, a US Department of Commerce spokesperson said.
According to them, “We are monitoring our systems and will respond promptly if any further activity is detected.”.
Hackers targeted the US State Department as well, according to US media reports.
Despite a request for comment from the BBC, the State Department did not respond immediately.
Reuters reported that China’s embassy in London said the accusation was “disinformation,” and that the US government was “the world’s biggest hacking empire.”
The China-based hacking group Storm-0558, which Microsoft refers to as Storm-0558, accessed email accounts by forging digital authentication tokens. In most cases, the tokens are used to verify a person’s identity.
The firm said Storm-0558 primarily targets government agencies in Western Europe and targets espionage, data theft, and credential access.
According to the company, the breaches began in mid-May and the company has since “mitigated the attack and contacted impacted customers.”.
According to the report, “we have added substantial automated detections for known indicators of compromise associated with this attack…but we have not found any evidence of further access.”.
According to Microsoft and Western spy agencies, Chinese hackers attacked critical infrastructure on American military bases in Guam using “stealthy” malware in May.
It was one of the largest cyber espionage campaigns against the United States, according to experts.
Guam’s ports and air bases are important to any Western response to a conflict in Asia.
Beijing referred to the Microsoft report as “highly unprofessional” and “disinformation”.
The Chinese government routinely denies involvement in hacking operations, regardless of the evidence or context.