Microsoft says Russians hacked its network and viewed its source code.
Between the presidential election, government security systems, and now Microsoft, what haven’t Russians been accused of hacking? The Washington Post reports Russian government hackers broke into several government breaches, and its private-sector networks were able to tap into Microsoft’s systems. This gave hackers access to a possibly valuable source code, Microsoft told the outlet on Thursday.
However, Microsoft previously acknowledged that it mistakenly and unknowingly downloaded a software patch cyber Russian spies use as a potential “back door” into their target’s systems. But Microsoft didn’t know the hackers viewed the firm’s source or the extremely private DNA of proprietary software. Microsoft did not disclose the type of source code that was tapped into, Ellen Nakashima of The Washington Post writes. Hackers accessed the code through an employee’s account, which was viewing it.
“We detected unusual activity with a small number of internal accounts, and upon review, we discovered one account had been used to view source code in a number of source code repositories,” the firm said in a blog post.
Two weeks ago, Microsoft said it learned of damaging software in its system. It was referring to a software patch from SolarWinds that Russians used to gain entry into its targets’ systems.
For now, the U.S. government is saying that downloading software doesn’t necessarily mean it was a hack. But now, Microsoft will be added to the list of government agencies to be tampered with by Russians allegedly. Others included Treasury, State, Commerce, Homeland Security and the National Institutes of Health, and a leading cybersecurity firm, FireEye.