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Microsoft President Brad Smith to Testify Before Congress on Security Breaches

 |  June 13, 2024

Microsoft President Brad Smith is set to testify before a House of Representatives panel on homeland security on Thursday. Smith will address questions regarding the company’s security practices following significant breaches by Russian and Chinese hackers over the past year.

Last year, China-linked hackers compromised Microsoft’s systems, stealing 60,000 U.S. State Department emails. Earlier this year, a Russian group infiltrated and spied on the emails of senior Microsoft staff, according to disclosures from the company, as reported by Reuters. These incidents have raised serious concerns about the tech giant’s ability to safeguard sensitive information.

In April, the Cyber Safety Review Board, established by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, issued a critical report on Microsoft’s handling of the Chinese hack. The board condemned the company’s lack of transparency and noted that the breach could have been prevented.

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As the world’s largest software maker and a key vendor to the U.S. government, Microsoft’s security lapses have drawn scrutiny not only from lawmakers but also from within the security industry. The upcoming hearing will delve into these security failures, the challenges Microsoft faces in defending against cyberattacks, and Smith will testify about the company’s plans for bolstering its security measures. Additionally, the panel will review the board’s findings and recommendations regarding the Chinese hack.

“Since this is not the first time Microsoft has been the victim of an avoidable cyberattack, and in light of the CSRB’s report, it is now Congress’s responsibility to examine Microsoft’s response to this report,” Congressman Mark Green from Mississippi will state during the hearing, according to details of his opening statement obtained by Reuters. “Mr. Smith, as a long-time, key leader within Microsoft, I anticipate that you will help us understand the gaps that enabled these recent cyber intrusions.”

In response to the board’s criticisms, Microsoft has announced efforts to enhance its security protocols. In November, the company launched a new cybersecurity initiative aimed at addressing the growing scale and severity of cyberattacks.
Source: Reuters