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On June 16, the U.S. State Department discovered unauthorized access to its Exchange Online email services and reported it to Microsoft. Almost a month later, on July 11, Microsoft disclosed the attack, and attributed it to a China-based threat actor, which they call Storm-0558. The intrusion granted the hackers access to email accounts at the Commerce and State Departments, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, among other targets. Although no classified information was compromised, the cyber espionage campaign comes at a time of tension between the U.S. and China.
To discuss the significance of the latest cyber espionage campaign, Lawfare’s Fellow in Technology Policy and Law, Eugenia Lostri, sat down with Asaf Lubin, Associate Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a Visiting Professor at Columbia Law School. They talked about what different types of espionage campaigns tell us about tightening U.S.-China competition, how international law can address cyber espionage, and the options available for governments to respond to these type of incidents.