Around 60,000 emails related to US diplomacy were hacked as part of a cyberattack discovered last July that was believed to be of Chinese origin and particularly targeted the State Department, the company’s spokesman said on Thursday.
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“Approximately 60,000 unclassified emails were exfiltrated during this breach,” spokesman Matthew Miller said when asked about it during a news conference.
He reiterated that none of the secure systems containing classified information had been hacked.
The American government revealed the existence of this cyberattack last July, which Microsoft said was of Chinese origin and targeted federal agencies, including the State Department.
The US has so far refused to attribute responsibility, but says it has “no reason to doubt the attribution publicly formulated by Microsoft,” which then spoke of a “China-based actor that Microsoft calls Storm-0558.”
At the end of May, the USA, Western allies and Microsoft had already denounced a “cyber actor” sponsored by China that had infiltrated critical US infrastructure networks.
In a State Department report released Thursday, the United States also condemned a massive disinformation campaign by China that threatens freedom of expression on the planet.