The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Friday urged the health care and public health sector to patch on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities announced last week, noting that additional criminal and state actors have been observed trying to compromise the critical infrastructure by exploiting these vulnerabilities. Today the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) also issued updated guidance.

The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center March 2 announced that cyber attackers were using the vulnerabilities to access email accounts and install malware to facilitate long-term access to victim environments. It suspects a potentially state-sponsored group out of China called HAFNIUM is behind the campaign.

In an updated alert last week, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it is aware of threat actors using open source tools to search for vulnerable Microsoft Exchange servers and advised entities to investigate for signs of a compromise from at least Sept. 1, 2020.

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