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Microsoft says group behind SolarWinds hack now targetting authorities companies, NGOs By Reuters 



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The SolarWinds emblem is seen exterior its headquarters in Austin, Texas, U.S., December 18, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Flores

(Reuters) – The group behind the SolarWinds cyber assault recognized late final yr is now focusing on authorities companies, assume tanks, consultants, and non-governmental organizations, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) mentioned late on Thursday.

“This week we noticed cyberattacks by the menace actor Nobelium focusing on authorities companies, assume tanks, consultants, and non-governmental organizations”, Microsoft mentioned in a weblog https://

Nobelium, originating from Russia, is similar actor behind the assaults on SolarWinds clients in 2020, in response to Microsoft.

“This wave of assaults focused roughly 3,000 e mail accounts at greater than 150 completely different organizations”, Microsoft mentioned.

Whereas organisations in the USA acquired the most important share of assaults, focused victims got here from not less than 24 nations, Microsoft mentioned.

No less than 1 / 4 of the focused organisations have been concerned in worldwide growth, humanitarian points and human rights work, Microsoft mentioned within the weblog.

Nobelium launched this week’s assaults by breaking into an e mail advertising account utilized by the USA Company For Worldwide Improvement (USAID) and from there launching phishing assaults on many different organisations, Microsoft mentioned.

The hack of data know-how firm SolarWinds, which was recognized in December, gave entry to hundreds of corporations and authorities places of work that used its merchandise. Microsoft President Brad Smith described the assault as “the most important and most subtle assault the world has ever seen”.

This month, Russia’s spy chief denied duty for the SolarWinds cyber assault however mentioned he was “flattered” by the accusations from the USA and Britain that Russian international intelligence was behind such a classy hack.

The USA and Britain have blamed Russia’s International Intelligence Service (SVR), successor to the international spying operations of the KGB, for the hack which compromised 9 U.S. federal companies and a whole bunch of personal sector corporations.

The assaults disclosed by Microsoft on Thursday seemed to be a continuation of a number of efforts to focus on authorities companies concerned in international coverage as a part of intelligence gathering efforts, Microsoft mentioned.

The corporate mentioned it was within the technique of notifying all of its focused clients and had “no cause to consider” these assaults concerned any exploitation or vulnerability in Microsoft’s services or products.

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