Microsoft President Brad Smith said a suspected Russian hacking campaign targeting U.S. government agencies and international companies is "a moment of reckoning."
In a blog entry posted on Microsoft's website Thursday, Smith called on the government and technology industry to work together to battle the nefarious actions of those determined to steal knowledge and security secrets.
"As much as anything, this attack provides a moment of reckoning," Smith wrote. "It requires that we look with clear eyes at the growing threats we face and commit to more effective and collaborative leadership by the government and the tech sector in the United States to spearhead a strong and coordinated global cybersecurity response."
Earlier this week, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency confirmed a sophisticated cyberattack on the U.S. government with the use of network management software made by SolarWinds, a Texas-headquartered IT firm.
The CISA did not say who committed the hacking, but experts say signs point to Russia.
One U.S. official told The Associated Press it was "the worst hacking case in the history of America," per Fox News.
The U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security reportedly were among the government agencies infiltrated, though the full extent of the hack had not been determined.
Microsoft said more than 40 client organizations, 80% of which are U.S.-based, were compromised.
Smith suggested collective action internationally to develop the necessary cyber protection.
"The United States did not win World War II, the Cold War or even its own independence by fighting alone," Smith said. "In a world where authoritarian countries are launching cyberattacks against the world’s democracies, it is more important than ever for democratic governments to work together — sharing information and best practices, and coordinating not just on cybersecurity protection but on defensive measures and responses."
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