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Microsoft Says It Informed the Ukrainian Government About Cyberattacks

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  • Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, wrote in a blog post on Monday detailing the company's efforts to keep Ukraine informed of cyberattacks.
  • Attackers have gone after "Ukrainian military institutions and manufacturers and several other Ukrainian government agencies," Smith wrote.
  • Microsoft has employees in Russia, Ukraine and across the region.

Microsoft said Monday it's been informing Ukraine about cyberattacks on civilian and military targets, though the software maker didn't attribute the attacks to any specific actors.

"In recent days, we have provided threat intelligence and defensive suggestions to Ukrainian officials regarding attacks on a range of targets, including Ukrainian military institutions and manufacturers and several other Ukrainian government agencies," Brad Smith, Microsoft's president, wrote in a blog post. "This work is ongoing."

U.S. tech companies are responding in myriad ways to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began late last week and has so far led to over 400 civilian deaths. Facebook owner Meta and Google parent Alphabet have announced efforts designed to tamp down misinformation on their platforms.

One of its primary responsibilities is to "help defend governments and countries from cyberattacks," according to the post. Smith said the company has employees in Russia, Ukraine and across the region.

On Feb. 24, before Russia launched its first missile strikes, Microsoft observed a new type of malware hitting Ukraine and delivered information to the country's government, which is a customer, Smith wrote. The attacks were narrowly targeted, in contrast to the NotPetya ransomware virus that hit the broader Ukrainian economy in 2017, he added.

"But we remain especially concerned about recent cyberattacks on Ukrainian civilian digital targets, including the financial sector, agriculture sector, emergency response services, humanitarian aid efforts, and energy sector organizations and enterprises," Smith wrote. "These attacks on civilian targets raise serious concerns under the Geneva Convention, and we have shared information with the Ukrainian government about each of them."

A Microsoft spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sources of the attacks.

Microsoft has also told the Ukrainian government about attempts to steal data, Smith wrote, and he said the company is removing state-run news company RT's apps from the Windows app store and "further" de-ranking its websites in Bing web search results.

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