Microsoft alerted customers March 3 of previously unknown security flaws within its Microsoft Exchange email server, which a Chinese hacking group has been targeting to steal user data.
The group, called Hafnium, is targeting vulnerabilities in versions of Exchange Server, Microsoft’s email and calendar application, that run on computer systems in physical offices. Hafnium previously has tried to steal information from infectious disease researchers and defense contractors, among others, according to the March 3 Microsoft blog post.
The tech giant is urging customers to update their Exchange Server to patch four vulnerabilities and also warned of spinoff attacks. Hafnium launched “limited and targeted attacks” through leased private servers in the U.S., with hackers accessing victims’ Exchange Server software through stolen passwords or vulnerabilities. The group then would install malware that helps extract user data.
There is no evidence that individual customers, rather than businesses and other organizations, were affected by the attacks, and Microsoft’s cloud-based Exchange Online email app also was unaffected, the company said.
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