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Global Crisis Strikes As Microsoft Attack Spreads To Europe

A sophisticated attack on Microsoft’s widely-used business e-mail software is morphing into a global cybersecurity crisis, according to Bloomberg.

The news service said that hackers are racing to infect as many victims as possible before companies can secure their computer systems.

Microsoft has blamed the attack on a Chinese government-backed hacking group called Hafnium, which has claimed at least 60,000 known victims globally.

Most are SMBs caught in a wide net the attackers cast as Microsoft worked to shut down the hack by distributing patches across the US, Europe and Australia.

It’s still not known how many Aussie businesses have been affected but the Australian Cyber Security Centre told CDN yesterday that it had been monitoring the situation, but had not updated its alert advice at the time of going to print.

The US revealed that a number of agencies had been impacted including government departments.

The European Banking Authority became one of the latest victims, advising personal data had been compromised through emails held on their Microsoft servers. Banks, electricity providers, senior citizen homes and an ice-cream company have all reported hackers have accessed their files.

Cybersecurity companies have been inundated with calls for assistance as the hackers show no sign of slowing the attack, despite the wide distribution of the Microsoft patch.

Asked about the cyberattack, the Chinese foreign ministry said it “firmly opposes and combats cyberattacks and cyber theft in all forms.” It suggested China was being blamed for political motives.

Security experts are concerned that the use of automation to launch sophisticated attacks such as this may mark a new, frightening era in cybersecurity.

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