Microsoft says Chinese hackers are targeting critical US infrastructure

Microsoft Corp said it has found malicious activity by a Chinese-state-sponsored hacking group that has gained stealth access to critical infrastructure organizations in Guam and elsewhere in the US with the aim of disrupting critical communications in the event of a crisis. .

In a report published on Wednesday, Microsoft said the group, named Volt Typhoon, had been active since mid-2021 targeting organizations operating in manufacturing, construction, maritime, government, information technology and education. Microsoft said it had “directly notified targeted or compromised customers” and reached “moderate confidence” that the activity was in preparation for enhanced communications during future crises.

Guam, a US island territory located 1,600 miles (about 2,600 kilometers) east of Manila, has become an increasingly important military and strategic center due to rising tensions with China, including the possibility that it will enforce its own claim to China. To do this, you can use your army. island governed by Taiwan.

According to Microsoft, Volt Typhoon initially gained access to targeted organizations through Internet-facing equipment manufactured by Fortinet Inc., a California-based cyber security company, while it was still investigating how the hackers were able to access the equipment. were capable Microsoft said the hackers used whatever privileges they could obtain from Fortinet devices to extract more credentials to authenticate other devices on the network. There, the hackers intended to “spy and maintain access without detection for as long as possible,” Microsoft said.

A representative for Fortinet did not respond to a request for comment. A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the report.

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