The US confirms a Chinese hacking group has gained illegal access to government emails. The attack was unable to impact any classified networks. As per the information given by Microsoft, the hacking group had targeted more than 25 enterprises belonging to different domains.
Before Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Beijing last month, U.S authorities claim state-backed Chinese hackers compromised Microsoft’s cloud-based security and breached the official email accounts at many U.S agencies.
The hackers had retained access to the data for more than a month before the attack came to light. An assessment of the initial characteristics of the hack led to links with the Beijing intelligence service.
The incident happens at the wrong time. The relationship between the U.S and China was in turmoil due to several incidents.
The Biden administration was showing interest in reinforcing the US-China relationship. A while ago, presence of spy balloons across the nation spurred controversial remarks. China was the prime suspect.
A U.S official claimed the attack was targeted directly at ambassadors and other staff members. The victims were associated with the State Department and other organizations that deal with the China portfolio.
“Our investigation revealed that beginning on May 15, 2023, Storm-0558 gained access to email data from approximately 25 organizations and a small number of related consumer accounts of individuals likely associated with these organizations. We’ve also been partnering with relevant government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). We are thankful they and others are working with us to help protect affected customers and address the issue,” says Microsoft.