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Microsoft: SolarWinds hackers target dozen tech companies

2021-10-25T13:38:52.176Z

In 2020, hackers entered the systems of government agencies and companies through a spectacular attack on the IT service provider SolarWinds. Now they are targeting other companies - with a new goal.



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Cloud data center (symbol picture): Attractive target for criminally or politically motivated hackers

Photo: - / AFP

According to Microsoft, the hackers behind the momentous cyber attack on the IT service provider SolarWinds targeted dozen of companies in the technology sector. Microsoft's security researchers announced on Monday that they had informed around 140 technology service providers about attacks on their IT structures since May. The hackers were successful in up to every tenth attack. Microsoft calls the hacker group "Nobelium".

In 2020, the attackers probably used IT maintenance software from SolarWinds to break into computer networks of US government agencies, including the Department of Finance and Energy, for espionage purposes.

The attack was recognized at the end of last year, but the exact extent of the information captured has not been made public to this day.

The US government and IT security researchers suspect hackers with connections to the Russian foreign intelligence service were behind the attack.

Recently, the hacker group has now focused on companies that set up and maintain cloud services for other companies.

They probably hoped to use the service providers 'access to their customers' computer systems, explained the Microsoft experts in a blog entry.

Other online criminals have already been successful with such an attack method in the summer: Using a vulnerability at the IT service provider Kaseya, they were able to encrypt customers' computers and demand a ransom (more on this here).

Since July 1st, Microsoft has informed 609 customers about almost 23,000 attacks by "Nobelium", it said.

The success rate of the attacks is in the low single-digit percentage range.

"The latest activity is another indication that Russia is trying to achieve long-term, systematic access to technology supply chains - and to create a mechanism by which targets of interest to the Russian government can be monitored now or in the future," wrote Microsoft's security experts.

Moscow has so far always rejected the allegations.

mak / dpa

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-10-25

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