Microsoft issues a security alert about potential password breaches involving Office 365 subscribers

According to Microsoft, ‘password spraying assaults have targeted 250 Office 365 subscribers in the US and Israeli military technology industry, in which attackers attempt to enter several accounts using regularly used passwords. The attack depends on users using passwords that aren’t the same as everyone else’s.

Attackers targeted vital infrastructure organizations in the Persian Gulf with password cracking attempts, and Microsoft has identified the entity behind them as DEV-0343, which is most likely a new Iranian hacking cell.

According to the ‘DEV’ tag, this organization is not yet a proven assault group supported by a state, although it might be in the future.

A cyberattack known as DEV-0343 was carried out against more than 250 Office 365 tenants, with a particular emphasis on the US and Israeli military technology corporations, Persian Gulf ports of entry, and global marine infrastructure. transport companies with business presence in the Middle East,” according to the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC).”

Microsoft said that just “a few” of the targeted customers had their data stolen.

Organizations that use multi-factor authentication lower their vulnerability to password-spraying assaults dramatically.

An organized hacking group went after companies that support the United States and European Union militaries as well as Israeli emergency response organizations and companies that produce military radars, drones, satellites, and emergency telecommunication networks, as well as a geographical information system ( gis (GIS), visual analytics, and the Persian Gulf ports, are all examples of technologies that are being developed.

In a statement, Microsoft said, “By focusing on opponent security services and marine trade in the Middle East, the Iranian government may begin to prepare for tragedies.” Iran’s expanding satellite program may be a source of concern. compensated for by gaining access to commercial satellite photos and private shipping plans and records “a spokesman for Microsoft confirmed the information.

As recently as last week, Microsoft sounded the alarm about Russian state-sponsored hacking, calling Russia’s intelligence hackers the world’s most active cyber danger. According to Microsoft, Kremlin-backed hackers are becoming more numerous as well as more effective. There was also an increase in Iranian hacking targeting Israeli groups, according to the report.

There was a nearly fourfold increase in the number of attacks against Israeli organizations this year, all of which were perpetrated by Iranian actors, who turned their attention to Israel as hostilities intensified between the two countries.

For the time being, it’s advising US and Israeli groups working in the region to be on the alert for Tor connections that seem suspect.

“DEV-0343 masquerades as a Firefox browser and conducts massive password spray assaults using Tor-hosted IPs,” according to the FBI. On Sundays and Thursdays between 7:30 AM and 8:30 PM Iran Time (04:00:00 and 17:0000 UTC), they are the most active, with major drops in activity occurring before 7:30 AM and after 8:30 PM Iran Time. They are the least active on Fridays before 7:30 AM and after 8:30 PM. Depending on the size of the business, they may target dozens to hundreds of accounts and enumerate each one dozen to thousands of times. Each firm is targeted by anything from 150 to over 1,000 different Tor proxy IP addresses “In a blog post, Microsoft issued a strong caution.

Password-spraying attacks like DEV-0343 typically target Exchange endpoints like Autodiscover and ActiveSync. Password-spray activity will be improved by DEV-0343 as a result of this. Microsoft claims.


Enabling multi-factor authentication, as advised by Microsoft, should prevent unauthorized remote access to accounts with stolen or otherwise compromised credentials.

In addition, it advises administrators to review and implement Exchange Online access settings and to block all incoming traffic from services like the Tor network, as well.

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