Russian hackers made away with U.S. government emails during Microsoft cyberattack: CISA

Hackers with ties to Russia have stolen emails from several U.S. federal agencies in an ongoing cyberattack at Microsoft, U.S. cyber security agency CISA has confirmed.

The U.S. cyber agency said the cyberattack on Microsoft allowed the Russian-backed hackers to steal federal government emails “through a successful compromise of Microsoft corporate email accounts.”

While reporting the attack internally in January, Microsoft called the Russian hacker group “Midnight Blizzard,” also known as APT29. The group is widely believed to work for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service or SVR.

The federal cyber agency said it issued a new emergency directive on April 2 ordering civilian government agencies to take action to secure their email accounts, based on new information that the Russian hackers were ramping up their intrusions.

CISA made details of the emergency directive public after giving affected federal agencies a week to reset passwords and secure affected systems.

Microsoft is facing increasing scrutiny of its security practices having endured a spate of intrusions by hackers of adversarial nations. The U.S. government is heavily reliant on the software giant for hosting government email accounts.

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