Microsoft: Russia is increasingly aggressive in cyberspace

US tech giant Microsoft said Russian cyberattacks were becoming "more aggressive" and warned that Moscow could deepen its cooperation with US adversaries in cyberspace, making it much more difficult to prevent intrusions.

Brad Smith, vice chairman and president of Microsoft, will testify on June 13 before the House Homeland Security Committee. According to him, hackers from Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SSR) no longer shut themselves out of the computer environment after being discovered, but redouble their efforts, leading to the equivalent of "hand-to-hand combat" in cyberspace.

The commission provided a transcript of Smith's statement on June 12, Radio Free Europe reported.

In his statement, he said that, according to Microsoft, SVR now allows its best engineers to use what they learn during the day in criminal operations they work on in their spare time for financial gain.

This creates a vicious cycle that reinforces the activities of nation states and ransomware.

Smith will speak to the committee about Microsoft's plans to increase security following successful operations by Russian and Chinese state actors. On June 12, he said that closer cooperation between Russia, China, North Korea and Iran on the geopolitical stage could be replicated in cyberspace.

"This is serious on several levels. It is one thing to be engaged in a cyber struggle with four separate adversaries - nation states, but an entirely different scenario if two or all four states work in tandem," he wrote in his testimony.

According to him, each of these countries has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to cyber capabilities, and through cooperation they could increase their effectiveness.

"Unfortunately, that's where the future is probably going to play out," emphasizes Smith.

The tech giant's president painted a grim picture of the current cyberspace, saying that "lawless and aggressive cyber activity has reached an extraordinary level" and that state actors are more sophisticated and have more resources than ever before. Every second, Microsoft detects almost 4,000 password attacks against its customers.

Smith called for tougher responses to such countries, saying they suffer few consequences for their actions.

"Deter threats from nation states by imposing appropriate penalties so that the actions of nation states do not go unpunished," he added. | BGNES