Threat Management, Data Security

Microsoft cyberwar report amid Russia-Ukraine conflict criticized

CyberScoop reports that many cybersecurity and foreign policy experts have raised concerns about Microsoft's report on cyberwarfare and disinformation amid the war between Russia and Ukraine. Microsoft failed to provide technical details or evidence often provided in similar reports on nation-state cyber operations to support its arguments, according to experts. "Source citations are thin to nonexistent," said RAND Corporation Senior Social Scientist Christopher Paul, who noted that Microsoft had used an '80s newspaper page copy as one of its sources, while many tables and figures have been attributed to the company's AI for Good Research Lab, whose credentials were also insufficiently detailed. Experts also had an issue with Microsoft's unsubstantiated claims of a combined physical and cyberattack against a Ukrainian powerplant. Microsoft had initially noted that cyber operations had been conducted by the Russians to collect nuclear powerplant intelligence before proceeding to mention that a Russian group had laterally moved on the network of the plant. "This [statement] is full of assumptions. The first sentence is not backed up by the second," said Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Professor and cybersecurity scholar Thomas Rid. Meanwhile, SentinelOne Principal Threat Researcher Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade emphasized the importance of objectivity in reporting the current situation in Ukraine given its policy ramifications.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.