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  • Writer's pictureRyan Lipton

Microsoft says Russian hackers behind majority of nation-state cyber attacks on company's customers

Russian hackers have been credited with the majority of cyber-attacks on Microsoft customers, according to Microsoft's Digital Defense Report.

Russia made up 52 percent of the cyber attacks while Iran made up 25 percent and China 12 percent from July 2019 to June 2020. The United States was the most-heavily attacked country accounting for 69 percent of the attacks on Microsoft customers around the world.

From Microsoft's 2020 Digital Defense Report

The report mentioned that non-governmental organizations were the largest industry targeted accounting for 32 percent of the cyber attacks. The NGOs that were attacked included advocacy groups, human rights organizations, nonprofit organizations and think tanks focused on public policy, international affairs and security.

The second largest industry under attack was government organizations accounting for 13 percent of the cyber attacks.

“We see nation-state actors constantly evolving, trying new techniques,” said Tom Burt, a vice president at Microsoft via Bloomberg. “As it stands today the attackers are winning in that they are so well resourced, so determined and so agile.”

The cyber attacks have steadily increased since the start of the pandemic. Burt said that the foreign-interests have continued to target organizations related to American politics in the recent weeks.

"Iranian hackers have also been prolific, stepping up the volume of their attacks in the last six months, according to Burt via Bloomberg. "In August 2019 alone, Iranian hackers attacked 241 Microsoft accounts associated with a U.S. presidential campaign, current and former U.S. officials, political journalists and well-known Iranians living abroad, the report said. While only four of these attacks were successful, Microsoft anticipates an increase activity as the U.S. election approaches."

As the United States sees increasing cyber threats from abroad, Donald Trump has done nothing to protect the vital privacy, data and security of American companies.


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About Ryan Lipton:

Ryan is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Business Journalism. He has written in the past for SB Nation's Silver and Black Pride, USA Today Sports Media Group, North Carolina Business News Wire, the Daily Tar Heel, and has worked with Ice Cube's BIG3 basketball league.

For more of Ryan Lipton's articles click here.

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