Small businesses, city administrations and regional governments are victims of a hacking attack, presumably from a Chinese origin. The White House speaks of a “current threat”.
According to a report, at least 30,000 US organizations are affected by an “unusually aggressive” Chinese hacker attack. Cyber security expert Brian Krebs wrote on his website on Friday that the attackers had exploited a security flaw in the Exchange e-mail service of the software company Microsoft, stole e-mails and infected computers with programs that would allow remote control. White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki spoke of a “current threat”.
“Everyone who uses these servers must act now,” said Psaki and advised to install an available security update as soon as possible. “We fear that there will be a large number of victims.”
“Very accomplished and highly developed actor”
After Microsoft published the security update for Exchange on Tuesday, the number of attacks “rose dramatically,” wrote Krebs, citing anonymous sources. “At least 30,000 organizations in the United States, including a significant number of small businesses, city and regional governments, have been attacked in the past few days by an unusually aggressive Chinese cyber espionage unit that focuses on theft of emails. »
The hacker group called “Hafnium” by Microsoft is, according to the company, a “very accomplished and highly developed player”. In the past, according to Microsoft, hafnium was primarily aimed at organizations and institutions in the United States. “Research institutions for infectious diseases, law firms, universities, defense companies, political think tanks and non-governmental organizations” were affected. The group is based in China, but operates mainly through rented virtual private servers in the USA.
The US authorities have repeatedly accused the Chinese government of being behind hacking attacks in the US. Beijing regularly rejects this.