Microsoft servers hacked | Western front joint denunciation of China

(Washington) Canada, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) accuse China of hacking Microsoft Exchange servers, a common front rarely seen, notes an expert interviewed by La Presse.

Nicholas Pérob

Nicholas Pérob

common denunciation

Lundi, le Canada, les États-Unis, l’Union européenne, l’OTAN et le Royaume-Uni ont formelement accusé la Chine d’avoir infiltré illégallement environ 400 000 serveurs de courriels de Microsoft Exchange utilisés par de nombreux et gouverne In the world. Specifically, the group accuses Beijing of tasking a group of hackers called Hafnium to carry out the hack. “This activity has put several thousand Canadian entities at risk, a risk that continues in some cases, even if Microsoft takes corrective action,” Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said Monday in a joint statement. Public Security Minister Bill Blair, and National Defense Minister Harjit Sagan. “Canada is convinced that the Ministry of State Security (MSE) [de la Chine] Responsible for the widespread penetration of Microsoft Exchange servers. ”

no revenge

Many observers noted that no punitive measures against Beijing were announced on Monday. However, the intrusion into Microsoft’s servers, which was discovered and announced in March, is more a matter of espionage than an attack aimed, for example, at shutting down power transmission equipment or other infrastructure, says Brandon Valeriano, a researcher in the Marine Corps. University of Virginia, and expert in cyber defense. “Do not respond to espionage with offensive military operations,” he said. It’s not like they have injured or killed people… We also know that punishments have no effect on behaviour, it’s not sure to go any further. Nobody wants to steal data of course, but that’s something all countries do. ”

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‘Somewhat gay’

Such a united front to denounce an act of computer hacking is not unprecedented, but it is “somewhat atypical,” Brandon Valeriano notes. “When a country comes forward and says that it was a victim of piracy, and here who is the culprit, it is difficult to know what happened, because that is just a possibility of one country. But when several countries come together, it sends a completely different message, and that cannot be ignored. Since the arrival of Joe Biden came to power in January, the United States was more inclined to seek to work with partner nations.” We are already seeing changes, and I personally would like to see more common fronts like this in the future. ”

Elections in the crosshairs of foreign governments الحكومات

The Canadian government’s cybersecurity agency also released a report last Friday outlining some of the threats that foreign actors could pose to the upcoming federal election campaign, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may launch in the coming weeks. The report, provided by the Communications Security Corporation (CST), blamed China, Russia and Iran for the majority of online attacks and threats against democratic processes at home and elsewhere in the country. the world since 2015. While Canada is not currently a major target country, CSE believes that an increasing number of actors have the tools, capabilities, and understanding of the Canadian political landscape to take action in the future. “They are driven by a strategic goal.”

with the Canadian press

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