UK blames China for Microsoft Exchange Server hack
On Monday, the UK government came forth to publicly accuse the Chinese government of perpetrating a damaging Microsoft Exchange Server hack that targeted organizations across Europe and North America. The UK joined several other entities, including the US and Microsoft itself, in claiming that China, specifically a state-sponsored hacking group called Hafnium, was behind the cyberattack. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab addressed the attack, stating that it followed a pattern of reckless behavior displayed by the country in its cyber endeavors. The announcement puts more pressure on China to respond to the cyber-sabotage after suspicious activity led to the discovery of four zero-day vulnerabilities in on-premises Microsoft Exchange Servers.
The attacks were detected earlier this year. Microsoft later released patches addressing the vulnerabilities in March, however, the flaw had been exploited. This incident led to the compromise of nearly 30,000 organizations in the US alone, with other high-profile victims abroad including the European Banking Authority. The malware was also discovered on roughly 2,000 machines belonging to companies based in the UK. During the announcement, the UK government pointed to large-scale theft of information and intellectual property as the primary motivation for the attacks.