Latest Russian espionage activity is broader than SolarWinds-style hacking effort, Microsoft's Tom Burt says

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Oct 25, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

An apparent espionage campaign from the same Russian hacking group that breached the U.S. federal contractor SolarWinds in 2020 differed from that incident which sparked congressional hearings and a reckoning throughout the U.S. federal government in significant ways, according to Tom Burt, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for customer security and trust.

The latest effort unveiled Sunday by Microsoft represents an example of how the group, which the company calls Nobelium and says is connected to the Kremlin’s SVR intelligence agency, targeted whole classes of companies, such at technology resellers and cloud service providers. The company said the intruders compromised 14 of the 140 service providers that were targeted, though investigators appear to have caught the effort relatively early, with Microsoft alerting government officials and publishing an advisory on the matter some five months after the activity appeared to begin. Attackers breached SolarWinds in January 2019, nearly two years before they were caught.

Malicious activity from Nobelium, also known as Cozy Bear, remains ongoing, according to Microsoft. It has aimed to infect a broader set of targets in the global supply chain, Burt said Monday during an interview with

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