Congress wants Microsoft’s Smith to testify about email hacks

(Bloomberg) — A House committee has invited Microsoft Corp. CEO Brad Smith to testify about the company’s response to the hacking of U.S. government officials’ email accounts operated by Microsoft and other breaches.

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In their letter, top Republicans and Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee asked Smith to appear at a May 22 hearing on the company’s cybersecurity shortcomings and homeland security implications.

Lawmakers pointed to a March federal report that reviewed the 2023 intrusion of Microsoft Exchange Online mailboxes belonging to 22 organizations and more than 500 people around the world by a group “believed to be associated with the People’s Republic of China in pursuit of its goals.” “spying”.

The report found that those at risk included senior U.S. government officials working on national security issues. They included Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China R. Nicholas Burns, and Representative Don Bacon, a Republican from Nebraska and a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green of Tennessee and ranking Democrat Bennie Thompson of Mississippi said they were encouraged by Microsoft’s recent commitments to improve cybersecurity practices. However, they emphasize that there are “serious questions” about the “apparent lack of accountability and oversight.”

“It is imperative that Microsoft, which has nearly 85 percent of the U.S. government office software market share, be held to the same level of accountability as other trusted U.S. government vendors,” they wrote.

In a statement, Microsoft said the company plans to cooperate with the commission, but did not specify whether Smith would appear on May 22.

“We always strive to provide Congress with information important to the nation’s security and look forward to discussing the details of the best time and way to do so,” the statement said.

(Updates with Microsoft’s response in last two paragraphs.)

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