US urges IT network firms to secure controls after cyberattack
The White House has urged computer network operators to take further steps to gauge whether their systems were affected amid a hack of Microsoft Corp’s Outlook email program, saying a recent software patch still left serious vulnerabilities.
“This is an active threat still developing and we urge network operators to take it very seriously,” a White House official said on Sunday, adding that top US security officials were working to decide what next steps to take following the breach.
US TV network CNN on Sunday separately reported that the Biden administration was forming a task force to address the hack. The White House official, in a statement, said the administration was making “a whole of government response”.
While Microsoft released a patch last week to shore up flaws in its email software, the remedy still leaves open a so-called back door that can allow access to compromised servers and perpetuating further attacks by others.
“We can’t stress enough that patching and mitigation is not remediation if the servers have already been compromised and it is essential that any organisation with a vulnerable server take measures to determine if they were already targeted,” the White House official said.
An unidentified source told the Reuters news agency that more than 20,000 US organisations had been compromised by the hack, which Microsoft has blamed on China.
Asked about Microsoft’s attribution of the attack to China, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that the country “firmly opposes and combats cyberattacks and cyber-theft in all forms” and suggested that blaming a particular nation was a “highly sensitive political issue”.
The Bloomberg news agency, citing a former senior US official with knowledge of the investigation, reported that the attack has so far claimed 60,000 known victims globally…..read more
Source: Al Jazeera