Microsoft has released its second annual Digital Defense Report, which examines hacking reports on a global scale. This includes the countries Microsoft has found to be the most affected by hacking as well as the ones who account for the most state-sponsored hacking. According to the Microsoft report, which covers July 2020 through June 2021, 46 percent of all hacking activity targeted the United States.
As for countries behind the hacking, Russian-based organizations were responsible for 58 percent of hacking according to the Microsoft report.
“NOBELIUM, and its aggressive targeting of IT service providers and Western government institutions, catapulted Russia to the top spot for countries where attacks originated this year,” the report said. “That group was responsible for 92% of the notifications to customers about Russia-based threat activity.”
North Korea came in second at 23 percent, fueled by efforts from the groups THALLIUM and CERIUM.
“These groups rely on large quantities of attacks,” the Microsoft hacking report said. “While these attacks have a low percentage of success, because of the high number of attempts, the groups still manage to successfully infect some victims.”
China came in fourth at eight percent, according to the Microsoft hacking report. The news comes as CIA Director William Burns announced Thursday the CIA will create a working group on China.
“Throughout our history, CIA has stepped up to meet whatever challenges come our way,” Burns said. “And now facing our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry, CIA will be at the forefront of this effort.”
The group will hold weekly director-level meetings intended to drive the agency’s strategy toward China. In addition, the CIA said it would ramp up efforts to recruit Chinese speakers and create another mission center focusing on things like emerging technologies, climate change and global health.
In order to make the group happen, the CIA will fold mission centers on North Korea and Iran, who Microsoft said accounted for the third most state-sponsored hacking in its report, into existing groups covering each country’s respective region.