China hacked emails at 24 gov’t agencies, incl. US State Department

Microsoft reported Tuesday that Chinese intelligence hacked emails belonging to the U.S. State Department, along with about two dozen government agencies in both the United States and Western Europe, in what is being described as a “significant” security breach.

According to Microsoft, Storm-0558, a China-based actor, targeted customer emails beginning on May 15, 2023.

“Storm-0558 primarily targets government agencies in Western Europe and focuses on espionage, data theft, and credential access,” Microsoft stated.

After customers reported suspicious activities on June 16, Microsoft launched an investigation into “anomalous mail activity.”

During the course of its investigation, Microsoft discovered that Storm-0558 gained access to the email accounts of roughly 25 organizations, impacting both government agencies and the related consumer accounts of people “likely associated” with the government agencies.

Microsoft announced Tuesday that the company has “completed mitigation” for the Chinese cyber hack “attack” on its customers.

A spokesperson for the State Department told confirmed to CNBC that the department had been impacted by the hack, noting that after it “detected anomalous activity,” the department immediately took steps to secure its systems.

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