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Cyber ​​attacks on Ukraine: Microsoft swiftly works on Defender

Microsoft has responded to the company’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to its own statements, the company has informed the Ukrainian government about cyber attacks and within a very short time Defender adapted to the attacks. In a blog post, Microsoft President Brad Smith gave a short-term summary of Microsoft’s response to the current crisis situation in Ukraine.

Supposedly, from February 24, Russia launched not only a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine but also large-scale cyber attacks on Ukrainian facilities. Microsoft has now commented on the first details of how the tech group has responded to the situation in recent days. The first area is protecting Ukraine from cyber-attacks, the second is protecting against state-sponsored disinformation campaigns and the third is humanitarian aid. There is also immediate help to protect Microsoft employees in Ukraine and Russia.

Respond quickly to the Defender

When it comes to protecting Ukraine from cyber-attacks, Microsoft says it has identified attacks on Ukraine’s digital infrastructure at an early stage. The company informed Ukraine about Russia’s use of the “FoxBlade” malware package and took steps to prevent the malware from infecting systems. This happened within three hours of discovery. Microsoft has a rapid response team specifically for such threat scenarios.

Looking ahead, Brad Smith said Microsoft remains “particularly concerned” about ongoing attacks on Ukraine’s financial sector, the agricultural sector, and especially on emergency services and humanitarian aid. Microsoft is currently working with Ukraine, as well as NATO, the US authorities, and representatives of the European Union, advising them on how to defend against hackers. Special attention is paid to potentially new emerging malware so that security solutions such as Microsoft Defender are quickly adapted.

Subject of disinformation

According to Smith, Microsoft is currently trying to reduce the spread of Russian state propaganda. This is in line with the EU’s decision to ban media linked to the Kremlin. As a result, government-sponsored content from RT and Sputnik will no longer appear on Microsoft Start and MSN.com. Microsoft also removed the RT news apps from the Windows app store, downgraded those search results to Bing, and banned RT and Sputnik from advertising on its ad networks.

Donations and protection

On humanitarian aid, Microsoft works with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and several UN agencies. Microsoft has also activated the Microsoft Disaster Response Team to provide assistance to Ukrainian authorities. This team has recently been deployed mainly in the event of natural disasters.

The donation program for Microsoft employees was increased by the group. Microsoft is uniting all contributions donated by employees to provide quick money to the ICRC, UNICEF, and the Polish Humanitarian Association. Finally, as far as employees are concerned, Microsoft says it is committed to protecting them on both sides – Russian and Ukrainian. “As a company, we are always committed to keeping our employees safe in any country, even if they live on opposite sides of a conflict-ridden border,” Microsoft said.