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U.S. Federal Agencies Ordered to Hunt for Signs of Microsoft Breach and Mitigate Risks

U.S. Federal Agencies Ordered to Hunt for Signs of Microsoft Breach and Mitigate Risks

Apr 12, 2024 Cyber Attack / Data Breach
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Thursday issued an emergency directive (ED 24-02) urging federal agencies to hunt for signs of compromise and enact preventive measures following the recent compromise of Microsoft's systems that led to the theft of email correspondence with the company. The attack, which  came to light  earlier this year, has been attributed to a Russian nation-state group tracked as Midnight Blizzard (aka APT29 or Cozy Bear). Last month, Microsoft revealed that the adversary managed to access some of its source code repositories but noted that there is no evidence of a breach of customer-facing systems. The emergency directive, which was originally issued privately to federal agencies on April 2, was  first reported  on by CyberScoop two days later. "The threat actor is using information initially exfiltrated from the corporate email systems, including authentication details shared between Microsoft customers and Micros
Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Russian Hackers Use 'WINELOADER' Malware to Target German Political Parties

Mar 23, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Cyber Warfare
The WINELOADER backdoor used in recent cyber attacks targeting diplomatic entities with wine-tasting phishing lures has been attributed as the handiwork of a hacking group with links to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), which was responsible for  breaching SolarWinds and Microsoft . The findings come from Mandiant, which said  Midnight Blizzard  (aka APT29, BlueBravo, or Cozy Bear) used the malware to target German political parties with phishing emails bearing a logo from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) around February 26, 2024. "This is the first time we have seen this APT29 cluster target political parties, indicating a possible area of emerging operational focus beyond the  typical   targeting  of  diplomatic missions ," researchers Luke Jenkins and Dan Black  said . WINELOADER was  first disclosed  by Zscaler ThreatLabz last month as part of a cyber espionage campaign that's believed to have been ongoing since at least July 2023. It attribute
Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Why Regulated Industries are Turning to Military-Grade Cyber Defenses

Jun 14, 2024Cybersecurity / Regulatory Compliance
As cyber threats loom large and data breaches continue to pose increasingly significant risks. Organizations and industries that handle sensitive information and valuable assets make prime targets for cybercriminals seeking financial gain or strategic advantage.  Which is why many highly regulated sectors, from finance to utilities, are turning to military-grade cyber defenses to safeguard their operations. Regulatory Pressures Impacting Cyber Decisions Industries such as finance, healthcare, and government are subject to strict regulatory standards, governing data privacy, security, and compliance. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in severe penalties, legal repercussions, and damage to reputation. To meet regulatory requirements and mitigate the ever-increasing risk, organizations are shifting to adopt more robust cybersecurity measures. Understanding the Increase of Threats Attacks on regulated industries have increased dramatically over the past 5 years, with o
Microsoft Confirms Russian Hackers Stole Source Code, Some Customer Secrets

Microsoft Confirms Russian Hackers Stole Source Code, Some Customer Secrets

Mar 09, 2024 Cyber Attack / Threat Intelligence
Microsoft on Friday revealed that the Kremlin-backed threat actor known as  Midnight Blizzard  (aka APT29 or Cozy Bear) managed to gain access to some of its source code repositories and internal systems following a  hack that came to light  in January 2024. "In recent weeks, we have seen evidence that Midnight Blizzard is using information initially exfiltrated from our corporate email systems to gain, or attempt to gain, unauthorized access," the tech giant  said . "This has included access to some of the company's source code repositories and internal systems. To date we have found no evidence that Microsoft-hosted customer-facing systems have been compromised." Redmond, which is continuing to investigate the extent of the breach, said the Russian state-sponsored threat actor is attempting to leverage the different types of secrets it found, including those that were shared between customers and Microsoft in email. It, however, did not disclose what the
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websiteVantaCompliance / Risk Management
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Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian Cybersecurity Incidents: What to Know

Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian Cybersecurity Incidents: What to Know

Feb 13, 2024 SaaS Security / Data Breach
The Midnight Blizzard and Cloudflare-Atlassian cybersecurity incidents raised alarms about the vulnerabilities inherent in major SaaS platforms. These incidents illustrate the stakes involved in SaaS breaches — safeguarding the integrity of SaaS apps and their sensitive data is critical but is not easy. Common threat vectors such as sophisticated spear-phishing, misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in third-party app integrations demonstrate the complex security challenges facing IT systems. In the case of Midnight Blizzard, password spraying against a test environment was the initial attack vector. For Cloudflare-Atlassian, threat actors initiated the attack via compromised  OAuth tokens  from a prior breach at Okta, a SaaS identity security provider.  What Exactly Happened? Microsoft Midnight Blizzard Breach Microsoft was targeted by the Russian "Midnight Blizzard" hackers (also known as Nobelium, APT29, or Cozy Bear) who are linked to the SVR, the Kremlin's forei
Microsoft's Top Execs' Emails Breached in Sophisticated Russia-Linked APT Attack

Microsoft's Top Execs' Emails Breached in Sophisticated Russia-Linked APT Attack

Jan 20, 2024 Cyber Espionage / Emails Security
Microsoft on Friday revealed that it was the target of a nation-state attack on its corporate systems that resulted in the theft of emails and attachments from senior executives and other individuals in the company's cybersecurity and legal departments. The Windows maker attributed the attack to a Russian advanced persistent threat (APT) group it tracks as  Midnight Blizzard  (formerly Nobelium), which is also known as APT29, BlueBravo, Cloaked Ursa, Cozy Bear, and The Dukes. It further said that it immediately took steps to investigate, disrupt, and mitigate the malicious activity upon discovery on January 12, 2024. The campaign is estimated to have commenced in late November 2023. "The threat actor used a  password spray attack  to compromise a legacy non-production test tenant account and gain a foothold, and then used the account's permissions to access a very small percentage of Microsoft corporate email accounts, including members of our senior leadership team a
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