Anonymous Sudan Cyberattack: Microsoft Confirms Disruptions

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Anonymous Sudan Cyberattack: Microsoft Confirms Disruptions

Microsoft recently confirmed a series of service disruptions in its office suite because of a cyberattack. In early June, Microsoft’s suite faced intermittent but major disruptions.

The hacking collective ‘Anonymous Sudan’ claimed responsibility for the attack. The hackers flooded the software giant’s sites with junk traffic, implementing a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) strategy.

Microsoft refrained from offering further details, including the number of affected customers and the global impact of the attack.

Initially cautious about confirming the source, Microsoft revealed the cause in a blog post. It stated that these were DDoS attacks by Anonymous Sudan.

According to Microsoft, the DDoS attack “temporarily impacted the availability” of some services. Besides, the organization asserted that the hackers intended to cause “disruption and publicity.”

It’s being suggested that the hackers have leveraged rented cloud infrastructure, virtual private networks, and global botnets to bombard Microsoft’s servers. However, the company claims there’s no proven instance of serious data breaches.

Microsoft named the attackers Storm-1359 – a placeholder title given to groups whose affiliation is not yet determined.

Identifying such groups often takes time. Besides, it presents challenges, particularly when dealing with skilled adversaries.

The Alleged Russian Connection

Some cybersecurity researchers believe Anonymous Sudan may have Russian ties, despite their name. Several pro-Russian hacking groups, like ‘Killnet,’ have been known to target websites belonging to Ukraine’s allies with similar DDoS attacks.

According to industry analysts, it’s quite unlikely Anonymous Sudan is based in Sudan, as it claims. Some claim that the group often collaborates with Killnet and other pro-Kremlin groups. This way, it disseminates pro-Russian propaganda and misinformation.

DDoS attacks remain a significant risk that we all just agree to avoid talking about. It’s not controversial to call this an unsolved problem.Edward Amoroso, CEO of TAG Cyber

He added that Microsoft’s struggle to fend off this particular attack could imply “a single point of failure.” DDoS attacks primarily aim to make websites unreachable without penetrating them.

However, if such an attack successfully disrupts a software giant like Microsoft, it could potentially interrupt significant commercial operations.

Cybersecurity experts suggest that, presently, there is no definite way to measure the impact of the alleged attack except for Microsoft’s confirmation.

It remains unclear whether the DDoS attacks had such an extensive impact in this instance.

Critics claim that the organization is apparently reluctant to reveal the extent of customer impact following the attack. Reportedly, the attack techniques are not new. In fact, some date back to 2009. Microsoft 365 office suite disruptions began on June 5. There were complaints of 18,000 outages and problem reports.

Most users registered the instances on Downdetector shortly after 11 a.m. (ET). The disruptions persisted throughout the week. Finally, on June 9, Microsoft confirmed that the Azure cloud computing platform had experienced a cyberattack.

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