Microsoft notifies users that emails were spied on by Russian hackers

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Microsoft notifies users that emails were spied on by Russian hackers
Microsoft notifies users that emails were spied on by Russian hackers

About six months after initially revealing the breach, the computer behemoth revealed that Russian hackers who infiltrated Microsoft, unlocked new tab systems, and monitored employee email accounts earlier this year also pilfered emails belonging to its clients.

The tech giant said on Thursday, about six months after first disclosing the intrusion, that Russian hackers who broke into Microsoft’s spied-on staff inboxes earlier this year also stole emails from its customers. Given that Microsoft is under growing regulatory scrutiny for the security of its systems and products against foreign threats, the disclosure highlights the scope of the compromise. An allegedly Chinese cyber outfit that independently hacked Microsoft last year grabbed thousands of U.S. government emails.

“This week we are continuing notifications to customers who corresponded with Microsoft corporate email accounts that were exfiltrated by the Midnight Blizzard threat actor,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an emailed statement. A source first reported on the action earlier in the day. The Russian government has never responded to the allegations of hacking against Microsoft. However, Microsoft has stated that the hackers targeted cybersecurity researchers who had been investigating the Russian hacking group’s actions.

Microsoft announced that it was also providing its customers with access to the compromised emails, but it did not specify the number of clients affected or the potential number of stolen emails. “This is increased detail for customers who have already been notified and also includes new notifications,” a spokesperson stated. “We’re committed to sharing information with our customers as our investigation continues.” The biggest software provider in the world had previously stated in January that Midnight Blizzard had accessed “a very small percentage” of the business’s corporate email accounts. When it was revealed four months later that those hackers were still attempting to gain access, many of its peers in the security industry and customers became alarmed and questioned why Microsoft’s systems were still vulnerable.

In response to these incursions and the Chinese hack from the previous year, Microsoft President Brad Smith stated during a Congressional hearing earlier this month that the corporation was reorganizing its security procedures.

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