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Microsoft Signing Key Stolen by Chinese

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In recent news, it has been reported that Chinese hackers have stolen the Microsoft signing key, leading to the compromise of various networks, including US Government networks. These hackers used forged authentication tokens and exploited a stolen Microsoft Azure account consumer signing key to gain unauthorized access to user emails. This incident has raised concerns and questions from Congress, who are demanding answers from Microsoft regarding their negligent security practices.

Two critical issues have come to light in this incident. Firstly, Azure accepted an expired signing key, indicating a vulnerability in the system’s key validity checking process. This flaw allowed the hackers to bypass security measures. Secondly, the stolen key was supposed to be stored in the system’s Hardware Security Module, not in software. This breach of good security practice highlights a serious failure in Microsoft’s security protocols.

This incident is believed to be connected to the SolarWinds attack, where Russia inserted malware into a SolarWinds update. China also took advantage of a different vulnerability in SolarWinds to gain unauthorized access to networks. It is speculated that China used this opportunity to breach Microsoft’s systems and access source code, including that of Azure. The long-term consequences of the SolarWinds attack are being underestimated, as the backdoored update was downloaded by thousands of networks worldwide, making it challenging to ensure complete removal of the threat.

Sophisticated threat actors like Russia and China are increasingly targeting infrastructure providers by stealing their source code and exploiting vulnerabilities within it. By doing so, they can gain unauthorized access to organizations that rely on these providers, posing a significant risk to cybersecurity.

In conclusion, the theft of the Microsoft signing key by Chinese hackers highlights the need for improved security practices and vigilance in the face of sophisticated cyber threats. The incident also sheds light on the long-term consequences of major cyber attacks like SolarWinds, emphasizing the importance of thorough security measures and prompt response to such incidents.

Key Points:
1. Chinese hackers stole the Microsoft signing key, compromising various networks, including US Government networks.
2. The hackers used forged authentication tokens and exploited a stolen Microsoft Azure account consumer signing key.
3. Congress is demanding answers from Microsoft regarding their negligent security practices.
4. The incident is believed to be connected to the SolarWinds attack, where Russia inserted malware into a SolarWinds update.
5. Sophisticated threat actors are targeting infrastructure providers to gain unauthorized access to organizations.

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