Russian Hackers Launch Password Spray Attack on Microsoft’s Senior Executives

Russian Hackers Launch Password Spray Attack on Microsoft’s Senior Executives

Microsoft announced in a recent blog update that Russian state-backed hackers have been targeting their systems. The unauthorized activity was detected by the company in late November 2023, with an escalation of attacks in February by a Russian state-sponsored actor named Midnight Blizzard. This activity resulted in a “large volume” of cybersecurity issues, impacting members of Microsoft’s senior leadership team and employees in various functions.

According to a company filing with the SEC, email accounts belonging to certain individuals were infiltrated by the hackers. Microsoft’s Threat Intelligence investigation identified Midnight Blizzard as the responsible party. The hackers gained access to a small percentage of corporate email accounts through password spray attacks, where they repeatedly attempted various passwords to gain entry.

The blog update from Microsoft mentioned that the hackers used information obtained from the email systems to gain unauthorized access to the company’s source code repositories and internal systems. Source code is highly valuable as it contains the fundamental components of a software program, enabling hackers to launch further attacks if obtained.

Microsoft clarified that there is no evidence of the hackers gaining access to customer environments or AI systems at this time. As a response to the advanced persistent threat, the company is taking defensive measures to protect itself. The investigation into the breach is ongoing, and Microsoft intends to provide updates as more information becomes available.

The company is working closely with law enforcement and regulators to address the situation. Business Insider reached out to Microsoft for further comments on the incident.

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