There is always tension in the relations between China and America. But Chinese hackers are doing cyber attacks while sitting. The latest case has come to the fore in which it has been said that Chinese hackers have put a dent in the email of the US government. This has been disclosed by Microsoft. The company said in two blog posts that a Chinese hacking group that the company identifies as Storm-0558 has the ability to gain access to email systems for intelligence collection.
US government gave information to Microsoft
According to the news, this espionage-focused group breached an unknown number of email accounts belonging to about 25 organizations, including some related personal consumer accounts and government agencies in Western Europe and the US. According to the news of The Verge, The Washington Post says that the US government had informed Microsoft about this. Adam Hodges, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, said authorities immediately contacted Microsoft to determine the source and vulnerability in its cloud service.
Use of Fake Authentication Token
This hacker group used fake authentication tokens to access affected email accounts through Outlook Web Access in Exchange Online (OWA) and Outlook.com from May 15. The thing to note is that everything remained unknown till one month after doing this. When the US government complained after so long, then Microsoft started the investigation from June 16. However, it said that the hackers affected the unclassified system. It does not appear that email accounts belonging to the Pentagon, military or intelligence community were compromised.
Microsoft tightens security
After this complaint, Microsoft has tightened security by adding substantial automated detections to mark the activity related to the attack. According to the news, Chinese hackers (US govt email hack) had done several cyber attacks in the year 2015 by targeting the security clearance records of the US government.