Hackers in China recently broke into the email accounts of around 25 organizations, including multiple government agencies, Microsoft said.
The company did not specify which countries or agencies were affected, but said that the group primarily focuses on hacking Western governments to spy on them. Microsoft said it worked with the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to kick the hackers out, indicating U.S. organizations are among the victims. CISA didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The hacks started May 15 and went undetected until June 16, Microsoft announced in a report Tuesday evening. The perpetrators were primarily focused on access to email accounts and no longer have that access, it said.
Microsoft did not say whether it believes the hacker group is affiliated with China’s government.
Unlike those working for Russia or Iran, hackers working for China rarely focus on disrupting their targets, but they are generally regarded as some of the most prolific cyberspies in the world.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told The Associated Press that any accusation of government involvement was “disinformation.”