Russia’s premier intelligence agency has launched yet another cybersurveillance campaign, targeting U.S. government, corporate and think-tank computer networks.
The new effort is “very large, and it is ongoing,” according to top Microsoft security officer Tom Burt. The move comes just after Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to a series of spy operations it had conducted around the world.
Indeed, government officials confirmed that the operation, aimed at retrieving data stored in the cloud, seemed to come out of the S.V.R, the New York Times reports.
Officials said the type of attack reported by Microsoft is consistent with the kind of spying major powers regularly conduct against each other.
It remains unclear how successful the latest operation has been. Microsoft said it recently notified more than 600 organizations that they had been the target of about 23,000 attempts to enter their systems. They added that a small percentage of attempts succeeded but did not provide details or say how many of the organizations were compromised.
A senior administration official said the attacks were “unsophisticated, run-of-the mill operations that could have been prevented if the cloud service providers had implemented baseline cybersecurity practices.”
“We can do a lot of things,” the official said, “but the responsibility to implement simple cybersecurity practices to lock their - and by extension, our - digital doors rests with the private sector.”