Reuters: U.S. Commerce Department hackers deceive Microsoft Office 365’s confirmation mechanisms
A successful cyber attack on the Us Treasury and Commerce Departments was carried out by a group of hackers being backed up across another country, Reuters reported.
The hackers managed to steal the data of the Treasury Department and the National Communications and Information Administration:
Reuters quoted sources as saying that a group of “sophisticated hackers” was able to seize data from the Treasury Department and the National Department of Communications and Information(NTIA) of the Ministry of Commerce, the body responsible for determining the government’s internet and communications policies.
Reuters reported that the hackers had deceived NTIA’s Microsoft 465 software verification mechanisms and had been following department staff correspondence for several months.
There are indications that the ntia mail accounts were hacked last summer:
A senior U.S. official confirmed to Reuters that there were indications that the ntia mail accounts were hacked last summer, but were not disclosed until recently.
A person interested in the agency said the seriousness of the successful cyberattack reaches the level of a sense of national security and asked the National Security Council to hold a meeting on the subject at the White House on Saturday.
The U.S. government is aware of reports of the alleged attack and is taking all necessary steps to identify and address any potential problems associated with the issue, Reuters quoted National Security Council spokesman John Olyot as saying.
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U.S. intelligence agencies fear that hackers may use similar methods to infiltrate other institutions:
Reuters sources indicated that u.S. intelligence agencies feared that hackers could use similar methods to infiltrate other u.S. government institutions.
A person interested in the agency said that what happened was more than a cyberattack on a particular agency, but that it was “a massive cyber espionage campaign targeting the U.S. government and its interests.”
Another person interested in Reuters said he was convinced that another country was behind the attack, but it has not yet been identified.
Reuters confirmed that the extent of the breach has not yet been counted, adding that theinvestigation into the matter is still in the preliminary stages and involves a number of federal institutions, including the FBI.
A spokesman for the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) confirmed that the agency’s experts are working in coordination with partners regarding the activities recently disclosed in government electronic companies and providing technical assistance to those affected by the attack to identify and mitigate any potential damage.
Sources: Reuters | almalnews