Security Alert: China-Linked Hackers Successfully Breach Government Email Accounts, Says Microsoft

by / ⠀Featured News / July 12, 2023
Storm-0558 Security Alert: China-Linked Hackers Successfully Breach Government Email Accounts, Says Microsoft

Microsoft has recently disclosed that a hacking group based out of China, Storm-0558, had successfully broke into email accounts from about twenty-five organizations, including government agencies. The group primarily targets government agencies in Western Europe, focusing on data theft, espionage, and credential access.

What is Storm-0558?
Storm-0558 is a China-based hacking group that focuses on data theft, espionage, and credential access.

Which organizations were targeted in the recent attack?
Approximately twenty-five organizations, including government agencies, were targeted in the recent attack.

What can organizations do to protect against cyber-attacks?
Organizations can implement security measures such as two-factor authentication, firewalls, and antivirus software to protect against potential breaches. Employees should also receive regular training to identify and avoid phishing scams and other social engineering tactics.

How can individuals protect themselves against cyber-attacks?
Individuals can protect themselves against cyber attacks by using strong passwords, avoiding suspicious emails and links, and keeping their software and antivirus programs up to date.

In conclusion, Microsoft recently disclosed that a China-based hacking group known as Storm-0558 successfully breached email accounts of around twenty-five organizations, including government agencies. The group primarily targets Western European government agencies for espionage, data theft, and credential access.

The Attack

On June 16th, Microsoft began looking into claims of strange email behavior. Outlook Web Access, Exchange Online, and Outlook.com were all discovered to have been used by Storm-0558 to compromise business and personal email accounts beginning on May 15. The group gained access to user inboxes by using counterfeit authentication tokens and a Microsoft consumer signing key they stole.

Microsoft successfully blocked Storm-0558 from accessing customer email using fraudulant authentication tokens. Mitigation measures have been completed for all customers affected by the attack.

Mitigation and Investigation
Together with the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Microsoft is still looking into and keeping tabs on the organization’s actions. Defenses have been beefed up by implementing automated detections of known indicators of compromise related to the attack. No other way in could be located.

Chinese Hackers: A Persistent Threat
Chinese hackers targeting government email accounts is not a new occurrence. Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that state-backed Chinese hackers were targeting critical U.S. infrastructure. These attacks potentially aim to disrupt critical communications between the U.S. and Asia during future crises. China denies these allegations and accuses the United States of engaging in cyber espionage against them.

The Importance of Cybersecurity
This recent attack emphasizes the significance of robust cybersecurity measures in safeguarding sensitive data. Organizations and government agencies must remain vigilant against cyber threats and take proactive steps to protect their systems and data. Implementing security measures like two-factor authentication, firewalls, and antivirus software, along with regular employee training on identifying and avoiding phishing scams, are crucial.

In conclusion, the recent breach of government email accounts by Chinese hackers serves as a reminder of the persistent threat of cyber attacks. Organizations must stay alert and proactively protect their systems and data by implementing cybersecurity measures and providing regular employee training. By doing so, the risk of successful cyber attacks can be significantly reduced.


FAQ

What is Storm-0558?
Storm-0558 is a China-based hacking group that focuses on data theft, espionage, and credential access.

Which organizations were targeted in the recent attack?
Approximately twenty-five organizations, including government agencies, were targeted in the recent attack.

What can organizations do to protect against cyber-attacks?
Organizations can implement security measures such as two-factor authentication, firewalls, and antivirus software to protect against potential breaches. Employees should also receive regular training to identify and avoid phishing scams and other social engineering tactics.

How can individuals protect themselves against cyber-attacks?
Individuals can protect themselves against cyber attacks by using strong passwords, avoiding suspicious emails and links, and keeping their software and antivirus programs up to date.

First reported on Fox Business

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