Russia is responsible for most nation-state cyberattacks, followed by Iran, North Korea, and China, according to a new Microsoft report
- The Russian government is responsible for the majority of cyberattacks originating from a nation-state, Microsoft researchers said in a new report.
Russiais trailed by Iran, China, and North Korea, according to the report, which measured Microsoft accounts that were "targeted or compromised by nation-state activities."
- During the 2016 US presidential election, hackers backed by the Russian government breached the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
- Special counsel Robert Mueller eventually indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for a variety of offenses related to the hacking.
Russian state-backed hackers are the most prolific of any government-backed hackers in the world, according to Microsoft's first ever "Digital Defense Report."
The lengthy report digs into ongoing trends in
Among Microsoft account holders, the groups primarily targeted by nation-state cyberattacks range from journalists to political organizations. And, in 2020, a number of organizations involved in COVID relief efforts have been targeted.
"Microsoft observed 16 different nation-state actors either targeting customers involved in the global COVID-19 response efforts or using the crisis in themed lures to expand their credential theft and malware delivery tactics," Microsoft corporate VP Tom Burt said in a blog post. "These COVID-themed attacks targeted prominent governmental health care organizations in efforts to perform reconnaissance on their networks or people. Academic and commercial organizations involved in vaccine research were also targeted."
The Russian government has been repeatedly identified as a major player in international cyberwarfare.
In 2016, Russian state-backed hackers successfully infiltrated the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Convention, which resulted in a massive leak of internal emails. In 2019, special counsel Robert Mueller said that Russia was already attempting to meddle in the 2020 US presidential election.
Though the Russian government repeatedly denied reports of interfering with US elections through hacking, Mueller's office indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers after an investigation into interference in the 2016 election.
Microsoft has been closely monitoring election
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