Microsoft President Says Cyberattack Blamed On Russian Hackers Was 'Most
February 15, 2021
A hacking campaign that U.S. intelligence services have said Russia
likely was behind is "probably the largest and most sophisticated attack
the world has ever seen," Microsoft President Brad Smith said.
Smith, speaking in an interview that aired on February 14 on CBS,
discussed the scope of the massive intrusion discovered in December that
breached government and private company networks in the United States
and many other countries.
"When we analyzed everything that we saw at Microsoft, we asked
ourselves how many engineers have probably worked on these attacks. And
the answer we came to was, well, certainly more than 1,000," Smith said,
speaking with the program 60 Minutes.
Cybersecurity experts have said it could take months to identify all the
compromised systems and expel the hackers. Russia has denied any
involvement in the cyberattack.
Microsoft announced in late December that it was among the thousands of
companies that found its systems compromised. It said that hackers
gained access to its source code but said the activity did not put the
security of its services or any customer data at risk.
software giant had previously acknowledged that like U.S. government
agencies and other firms, it had downloaded updates of network
management software made by the company SolarWinds that the hackers had
targeted. The compromised software provided hackers a backdoor into
government and company networks.
Microsoft said at the time that the hacking operation was carried out by
a “very sophisticated nation-state actor” and said companies and
businesses affected were in several other countries, including Canada,
Mexico, Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, and the United Arab
Then-U.S. President-elect Joe Biden called the cyberattack a “great
concern” and promised to impose “substantial costs” on the perpetrators
in coordination with U.S. allies and partners.