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Russian Hackers Can Target 2020 Olympics, Warns Microsoft

The IT major has also recommended that firms should enable a two-factor authentication, learn the warning signs of a phishing attack and enable security alerts about links and files from suspicious websites

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft claimed that it has recently detected Russian hackers are trying to disrupt the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by infiltrating sporting and anti-doping agencies.

The hacking group called Fancy Bear, APT28, or Strontium could impact the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, the tech giant has warned.

Analysts at Microsoft Threat Intelligence Centre also published details of the hacks, which began on September 16 and have so far targeted at least 16 sporting and anti-doping agencies since inception.

“At least 16 national and international sporting and anti-doping organisations across three continents were targeted in these attacks,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post, while providing details of the activity.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

“The methods used in the attacks are similar to those routinely used by (Fancy Bear) to target governments, militaries, think tanks, law firms, human rights organisations, financial firms and universities around the world,” the company added.

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Meanwhile, the tech giant has notified all the organisations that were targeted.

The IT major has also recommended that firms should enable a two-factor authentication, learn the warning signs of a phishing attack and enable security alerts about links and files from suspicious websites. (IANS)

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Amazon Asks Judge to Block Microsoft from Pentagon Project

The US government in October awarded the much-anticipated $10 billion Cloud contract for Pentagon to Microsoft

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Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the retail giant’s Cloud arm, has asked a US judge to force a stay of work on Microsoft’s $10 billion Cloud contract until the court can rule on Amazon’s protest over the Pentagon awarding JEDI to Microsoft.

Amazon had sought ‘preliminary injunction’ from the court to temporarily block Microsoft from starting work on the billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project.

In a statement shared with Fast Company, an AWS spokesperson said that it is common practice to stay contract performance while a protest is pending.

“It’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed. AWS is absolutely committed to supporting the DoD’s modernisation efforts and to an expeditious legal process that resolves this matter as quickly as possible,’ the spokesperson added.

Amazon filed a motion asking a federal judge to block Microsoft from working on any substantive tasks for the JEDI project while the court considers the matter. The motion makes good on Amazon’s previous pledge to try to pause work on the contract while the legal challenge is underway.

FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Amazon last year filed a suit with the US Court of Federal Claims contesting the decision.

“AWS is absolutely committed to supporting the Department of Defense (DoD’s) modernisation efforts and to an expeditious legal process that resolves this matter as quickly as possible,” the AWS spokesperson said.

Also Read: Tencent Offers to Acquire Funcom Games for $148mn: Tech Report

Microsoft is set to start its work on JEDI Cloud contract from February 11.

The US government in October awarded the much-anticipated $10 billion Cloud contract for Pentagon to Microsoft.

In its complaint against the government decision, Amazon alleged Trump abused his position to put “improper pressure” on decision-makers for personal gains and show his hatred towards Bezos who owns The Washington Post. (IANS)