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Washington: The leaders of the Quad countries of India, Australia, Japan and the United States discussed the issue of cyber attacks during talks conducted earlier in the day, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday.”Without getting into too much detail, they discussed both recent cyber-attacks and semiconductors in the course of the conversation today. The leaders agreed — as part of the Emerging Technology working group to look at the supply chain question including as it relates to semiconductors to make sure that we do not have shortages of critical materials,” Sullivan said during a briefing at the White House.

“But also the cyber attacks that have hit Japan, India and Australia just in the past few weeks and months.”

Sullivan said that the impetus behind the new cyber working group of the Quad countries is not solely the recent massive SolarWinds or Microsoft cyber attack incidents “both of which the United Staes is responding to with urgency”. He stressed that such attacks are a “common challenge” the Quad is facing from both state and non-state actors.Sullivan also said the scale and scope of the Microsoft cyber attack is yet to be determined, but noted that it is significant. “We are still trying to gather information, trying to determine the scope and scale (of the attack),” he said.

Sputnik reported that on Tuesday, Microsoft released emergency security updates saying it had uncovered exploits that a China-based hacking group was able to access email accounts and install malware. Within three days, reports emerged alleging that some 30,000 organizations in the United States were subjected to a cyberattack.

Microsoft explained the hackers targeted institutions in the United States to obtain information from infectious disease researchers, law firms, universities, defense contractors, think tanks and non-governmental organizations.

The Chinese authorities have asked the media and companies accusing Beijing of cyberattacks to provide evidence instead of baseless accusations.





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