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US accuses Russian-backed hackers of stealing govt emails during Microsoft cyberattack



Hackers erase 6,500 sites from popular web hosting portal

The United States of America has accused hackers backed by the Russian government of stealing emails from multiple federal departments in the United States during a Microsoft cyberattack.

The allegation was made in a fresh statement issued by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which noted that the hackers stole government emails during the attack, which Microsoft initially disclosed in January.

The hackers, which Microsoft refers to as “Midnight Blizzard,” also known as APT29, are thought to be employed by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR.

The statement claims that the attack allowed the hackers to steal federal government emails “through a successful compromise of Microsoft corporate email accounts.”

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“Midnight Blizzard’s successful compromise of Microsoft corporate email accounts and the exfiltration of correspondence between agencies and Microsoft presents a grave and unacceptable risk to agencies,” said CISA.

Based on fresh evidence that Russian hackers were stepping up their attacks, the federal cyber agency said it issued a new emergency directive on April 2 directing civilian government agencies to take steps to secure their email accounts.

On Thursday, CISA released the emergency directive’s contents, giving the government agencies involved a week to secure the compromised systems and change their passwords.

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