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Microsoft Announces Hack Behind Early June Service Outages

Microsoft said that a June 5 outage that affected multiple services was caused by hackers who carried out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in a Friday release.

The attack carried out by Storm-1359 did not compromise user data, the tech giant said in the release, but instead used a variety of attacks to gain publicity through disrupting various Microsoft services. Microsoft reported 18,000 outages among multiple services across roughly two and a half hours in a series of June 5 posts on Twitter.

Microsoft Outlook, OneDrive and Teams were affected among the services disrupted by the DDoS attack, Fox Business Network reported, while naming the attacker as Anonymous Sudan. The company has not gone into detail about the attack, according to Fox Business Network.

Cloudflare defines a DDoS attack as “a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.”

DDoS attacks use internet traffic requests, often from computers that have been infected with malicious programs, or “malware,” to flood the targeted system as a way to prevent normal requests from being processed, making web sites or email servers inaccessible, Cloudflare says. Multiple DDoS cyberattacks targeted Ukrainian systems prior to and at the start of Russia’s invasion in February 2022.

“This recent DDoS activity targeted layer 7 rather than layer 3 or 4. Microsoft hardened layer 7 protections including tuning Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) to better protect customers from the impact of similar DDoS attacks,” Microsoft said in the Friday release.

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