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Microsoft has discovered espionage activities by Chinese hackers against critical infrastructure in Guam and the United States

A security surveillance camera near a Microsoft office building in Beijing (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Microsoft Corporation. It stated that it had detected malicious activity by a Chinese state-sponsored hacking group that had surreptitiously entered critical infrastructure institutions in Guam and other locations in the United States, with the potential goal of disrupting critical communications in the event of a crisis.

Microsoft said in a report released Wednesday that the group contacted Volt Typhoon, has been active since mid-2021, targeting organizations in the manufacturing, construction, marine, government, IT and education sectors. Microsoft said it had “directly notified customers affected or at risk” and agreed with “moderate confidence” that the activity was preparing to disrupt communications during a future crisis.

Guam, a US island 2,600 kilometers east of Manila, has become an increasingly important military and strategic hub as tensions with China rise, including the possibility that it will use its military to assert itself. his claim to the self-governing island of Taiwan.

According to Microsoft, Volt Typhoon initially reached target organizations through internet-connected devices made by Fortinet Inc. , a cybersecurity company based in Sunnyvale, California, adding that it continues to investigate how hackers gained access to computers. . Hackers have used the privileges they managed to gain from Fortinet devices to extract more credentials to authenticate to other devices on networks, according to Microsoft.

There he isThe hackers intended to “do espionage and keep access undetected for as long as possible.”Microsoft added.

A representative for Fortinet did not respond to a request for comment. A Microsoft spokesperson declined to provide more details about the report.

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With information from Bloomberg

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