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Select Lawmakers Rebuke Microsoft Over Potential $150M US Cyber Spending Quota: Reuters

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Microsoft Corp’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) entitlement to a quarter of the Congress pandemic relief funds earmarked for U.S. cybersecurity defenders despite its recent hacks have irked lawmakers over national security threat concerns, Reuters reports.

  • The two massive cyberattacks leveraged weaknesses in Microsoft products, compromising the computer networks at federal and local agencies and tens of thousands of companies. In December, one breach credited to Russia seized emails from the Justice Department, Commerce Department, and Treasury Department.
  • Therefore, the lawmakers sought the government’s revaluation over its dependence on Microsoft.
  • Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency’s draft spending plan had reportedly allocated over $150 million of their new $650 million funding to assist other federal agencies to upgrade their existing Microsoft deals to improve cloud security.
  • Microsoft’s activity logging service enabled the clients to monitor data traffic within their part of the cloud and detect discrepancies identifying potential hackers. Officials sought access to Microsoft’s premium tracking capability to investigate recent hacks tied to nation-states.
  • Microsoft justified additional payment for the access citing larger organizations’ advanced capability requirements, which met with divided responses from the U.S. cyber officials.
  • “If the only solution to a major breach in which hackers exploited a design flaw long ignored by Microsoft is to give Microsoft more money, the government needs to reevaluate its dependence on Microsoft,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. “The government should not be rewarding a company that sold it insecure software with even bigger government contracts,” he added.
  • Microsoft successfully twisted security offerings leading to $10 billion in annual revenue, up 40% year-on-year.
  • The lawmakers questioned the prioritization of security during the vendor procurement process insinuating towards newer regulations.
  • Price action: MSFT shares are trading lower by 0.99% at $233.41 on the last check Monday.
 

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