Chinese hackers accessed emails from various companies due to Microsoft Exchange Server failure

March 3, 2021
3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

The technology giant Microsoft warned that on Tuesday, Chinese hackers took advantage of a flaw in its messaging system for companies Exchange Server , and entered the emails of several companies. Cybercriminals also accessed contact lists and installed malware.

Tom Burt , corporate vice president for security and user trust at Microsoft , explained that hackers They took advantage of four weaknesses in the system that the company had not detected.

As published by Burt on the company’s official blog , the group of hackers , supported by the Chinese government , sought to steal information from organizations in the United States. Among those affected are some companies dedicated to the investigation of infectious diseases and defense contractors . They also infiltrated law firms , higher education institutions , think tanks, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) .

Cybercriminals found the flaws in Exchange Server and accessed the messaging server. From there they managed to steal sensitive information, such as email accounts and contacts , as well as install malicious software or malware .

In this world, data will be more private, more sovereign. Data governance and providence will take on new importance. #MSIgnite

– Microsoft (@Microsoft)March 2, 2021

“In this world, data will be more private, more sovereign. The governance and providence of data will take on a new importance ,” Microsoft said on the same day it confirmed the cyberattack.

Last February, an ethical hacker discovered a very simple tactic to breach the systems of Apple , Microsoft , PayPal , Tesla , Netflix , Shopify , Yelp , Uber and more than 30 companies . Alex Birsan posted the research on his blog and, in appreciation for detecting the vulnerabilities, received more than $ 130,000 in rewards from companies, Bleeping Computer reported.

Shortly before, in December 2020, the FireEye company, specialized in cybersecurity, reported that “highly sophisticated” hackers linked to a foreign government (they suspect Russia), they accessed their systems to steal data. They detailed that the hackers stole material that would help them detect weaknesses in their clients’ networks, which they could take advantage of to attack them.