Technology Mar 09

Microsoft hack victims shore up cyber defences

EU banking authority was among tens of thousands of victims of attack blamed on Chinese spies 

Microsoft hack victims shore up cyber defences
An attack on MS Exchange email servers hit tens of thousands of companies. Photo: Reuters

(ATF) Companies hit by the hack on Microsoft systems over the weekend have been scrambling to shore up their cyber defences as it emerged that the European Union’s highest banking authority had been among targets.

The White House also weighed on the incident, which was discovered in early January and has been blamed by Microsoft on Chinese cyber spies.

An estimated tens of thousands of firms fell victim to the attack in the first wave and then by subsequent infiltrations piggybacking on the earlier incursions. They included everything from small privately owned business and shops to hospitals and major firms.

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The European Banking Authority, a key EU financial regulator, says it was among the victims.

"At this stage, the EBA email infrastructure has been secured and our analyses suggest that no data extraction has been performed," the statement said.

Microsoft said last week that a state-sponsored group operating out of China was exploiting previously unknown security flaws in its Exchange email services to steal data from business and government users, believed to number in the tens of thousands so far.

The "Hafnium" group was a "highly skilled and sophisticated actor," it said.

The White House called the hack an “active threat” and said it was being probed by national security officials. 

  • With reporting from AFP  


Microsoft Cybersecurity Hack Espionage US China