Chinese state hackers have attacked hundreds of thousands of organizations around the world thanks to a vulnerability in the Microsoft Exchange Server email platform, including about 30,000 in the United States. These include banks, telecom service providers, police, utilities, hospitals, and local governments.
Certified technology journalist Brian Krebs reports this based on sources. The attack is attributed to a new pirate group called Hafnium. The group is said to have links with the Chinese authorities.
The attacks since January are said to have mainly targeted scientific institutions, defense companies, think tanks, and NGOs. Names were not disclosed.
Hackers had taken over the organizations’ email systems. They break into email servers and silently fish for information from the inbox, without using phishing emails.
Today, the White House has been extremely concerned about the numerous breaches. The spokeswoman, Jane Saki, spoke of a “major security vulnerability” with enormous impact. “We fear there will be a large number of victims,” Psaki said.
Microsoft warned of a weak platform a few days ago. In the Netherlands, this warning was distributed by the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) under the Ministry of Justice and Security. According to the center, the pit is also actively used in the Netherlands.
Since the international warning, the hackers are said to have stepped up their attacks, in order to kill as many victims as possible as quickly as possible. They have also installed proprietary software that allows them to regain access to affected systems later.
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