The Pentagon recently made a $ 10 billion deal with Microsoft. But the question is whether Microsoft will be able to safeguard the Pentagon's systems against all these sophisticated ones. hackers who chase it daily.
Microsoft has created a team, MSTIC (Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center), by dozens of engineers and analysts with the goal of tracking and terminating cyber hackers that are spreading worldwide.
Members of the MSTIC team focus on specific threats: one group is responsible for Russian hackers called Strontium, others are watching North Korean hackers named Zinc and some other Iranian hackers named Holmium.
Microsoft's five-year team of investigators is also comprised of former spies and government agencies who have experience in places like Fort Meade, which hosts the National Security Service and Commerce Cyber Of America.
The MSTIC faces dozens of threats, but the geopolitics are particularly complex: China and the United States, two of the most important players in cyberspace and two of the largest economies on earth, are hardly ever called "solitary" countries like Iran, Russia. and North Korea.
In addition, Microsoft, like other tech giants like Microsoft Google and Facebook, regularly inform the people targeted by cyber hackers, which gives the target the opportunity to defend themselves. In the past year, MSTIC has informed some Microsoft 10.000 customers that they are targets of cyber hackers.
Of course, in early August, the MSTIC launched a campaign against “password spraying”. The hackers stole about 2.700 passwords for accounts linked to a US presidential campaign, high-profile government officials, journalists and Iranians living outside Iran. Four accounts were at stake in this attack.
Analysts at MSTIC recognize that attack is controlled exclusively by Iranian team hacking Phosphorus.
After identifying the hackers, the Phosphorus team attempted to exploit the account recovery process using the target's actual phone numbers. Microsoft's MSTIC identified Phosphorus and other government-funded hackers, including Russia's Fancy Bear, repeatedly using this tactic to try to remove two-factor verification codes for high-value targets.
Microsoft's failure ultimately gave Iranian hackers the edge over targeting presidential campaigns, including, as Reuters reported, their re-election. Donald Trump for 2020.
Overall, though, at over $ 1 trillion, Microsoft is a colossus, and it's an important security chapter.
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