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Microsoft finds new backdoor security breach in exchange software

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 26: A logo sits illumintated outside the Microsoft booth on day 2 of the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. The annual Mobile World Congress hosts some of the world's largest communications companies, with many unveiling their latest phones and wearables gadgets like foldable screens and the introduction of the 5G wireless networks. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 26:  A logo sits illumintated outside the Microsoft booth on day 2 of the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. The annual Mobile World Congress hosts some of the world's largest communications companies, with many unveiling their latest phones and wearables gadgets like foldable screens and the introduction of the 5G wireless networks. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 26: A logo sits illuminated outside the Microsoft booth on day 2 of the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2019 on February 26, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:00 PM PT – Saturday, March 6, 2021

Microsoft announced 20,000 U.S. organizations have been compromised in a recent hack. On Friday, a U.S. official said Microsoft had discovered a breach in its exchange server, which works with Microsoft Outlook to ensure updates on devices are synchronized.

Security experts alleged Chinese hackers are behind the most recent security breach, however the Chinese government has denied those claims. This came as the hackers reportedly stole information from infectious disease researchers, law firms, defense contractors and institutes of higher education.

Microsoft said they are working with government agencies and security companies to resolve the issue.

Authorities noted the recent hack is completely separate from the SolarWinds hack discovered at the end of last year, which was attributed to Russian hackers.

During a press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned the latest breach could have far reaching impact.

“First and foremost, this is an active threat, and as the National Security Advisor tweeted last night, everyone running these servers, government, private sector, academia, needs to act now to patch them,” Psaki stated. “We are concerned that there are a large number of victims and are working with our partners to understand the scope of this.”

This came as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency mandated emergency action be taken by those impacted by the breach. The government agency stated customers who believe they were not compromised must still apply “Microsoft patches” as a precaution.

However, the patches do not get rid of possible backdoors in the exchange software, allowing the attacks to continue.

Reports have indicated thousands more customers may be affected by the security breach globally.

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