(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com)- Following the recent SolarWinds hacking scandal, new reports reveal how Microsoft’s programs, including calendar and mail services, were hacked by a Chinese Communist Party-linked group.
Microsoft has a “high confidence” that the attack is linked to the Chinese government, and once it was discovered, it prompted an emergency directive from the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to put all government networks and hardware through software updates to ensure they are not compromised.
The news was revealed in a blog post from Microsoft, which added that the newest software update for Microsoft Exchange email servers blocks the hackers.
CISA is the nation’s primary cybersecurity agency which rarely exercises its authority to require the entire national government to update its software. The agency said that the order was necessary because the hackers were able to “gain persistent system access.”
All government agencies were given until noon on Friday to update their systems, meaning they should have all done so already.
President Donald Trump regularly spoke out about China hacking and targeting United States technology and research. Last year, the president spoke out during a press conference about Chinese hacking and the stealing of U.S. vaccine research.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has yet to give a single press conference since taking the White House and has rolled back many Trump-era policies that reigned in Chinese influence in the United States.
Microsoft Vice President Tom Burt also wrote in another blog post that hackers have focused on several American targets recently, including defense contractors, law firms, and COVID-19 and disease researchers.
“Even though we’ve worked quickly to deploy an update for the Hafnium exploits, we know that many nation-state actors and criminal groups will move quickly to take advantage of any unpatched systems. Promptly applying today’s patches is the best protection against this attack,” he said in the post.
It marks the eighth time in the last year that Microsoft has publicly disclosed hackers from foreign nations – and connected to foreign governments – targeting American government institutions.