Biden Admin Speaks Out During Aftermath of Chinese Breach

( – The Biden administration said on July 16 there will be consequences for those responsible for illegally accessing government emails after hacking a Microsoft cloud system. During an ABC interview, White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan said that authorities are working to determine “the source” of the hack. However, he said that preliminary investigations revealed the hack came from a cybercriminal group based in China.

Sullivan explained that Microsoft’s cloud system experienced an “intrusion,” which hackers took advantage of to eventually get into “unclassified US government emails.” He also said it was the government who “discovered the intrusion” and then alerted the tech company. Moreover, he noted that the Biden administration is “taking steps” to guarantee this won’t become an “ongoing vulnerability.”

In a July 12 statement, Microsoft stated that the Chinese hacking group Storm-0558 was the one behind the breach. The tech company pointed out that this cyber-attack affected 25 organizations all across the country, including some government agencies. Microsoft also said the attack was unexpected as Storm-0558 usually targets European government agencies, and is mainly focused on data theft and espionage.

In a blog post, the tech giant said it’s working with the “impacted customers,” and it notified them before “going public.” Microsoft also noted that it decided to share every detail of the incident in coordination with the company’s clients and to “benefit” the tech industry.

In the ABC interview, Sullivan added that the cyber-attack Microsoft suffered is the “type of behavior” and activity that Washington has seen from “foreign adversaries.” He explained that in each of these previous cases, the United States has taken the time to investigate the matter and determine the “best response” to it.

Back in May, the tech giant notified that state-backed Chinese hacking groups have been targeting the country’s critical infrastructure. Microsoft added that this operation was laying the “technical groundwork” for the sabotage of critical communications between Asia and the US in future crises.

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