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Hewlett Packard Enterprise Discloses Cybersecurity Breach by Russian State-Sponsored Hackers

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced on Wednesday that it experienced a cybersecurity breach involving its cloud-based email system. The attack was attributed to the Russian state-sponsored hacking group, commonly referred to as Midnight Blizzard or Cozy Bear.


According to a regulatory filing by HPE, the breach was first identified in December 2023 and involved unauthorized access and data extraction from a small number of HPE email accounts since May 2023. These accounts belonged to employees across various departments including cybersecurity and business segments.


HPE is currently investigating the incident, which they believe is linked to a previous breach in June 2023. In that incident, the hackers accessed a limited number of SharePoint files. HPE responded to the June incident by engaging external cybersecurity experts and implementing containment and remediation measures. The company stated that this hacking activity did not significantly affect its operations or financial status.


The breach at HPE comes amid growing concerns about the potential of Russia's conflict with Ukraine escalating into a global cyberwar. HPE is cooperating with law enforcement and will issue regulatory notifications as needed during the ongoing investigation. The company has stated that the breach has not had a significant impact on its financial health or business operations.


This incident follows a similar breach at Microsoft, where email accounts of top executives were compromised by the same Russian hacking group, also known as Nobelium or APT29.


This group is linked to Russian intelligence and was responsible for the notable SolarWinds breach in 2020. Both the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Microsoft have identified the group as being connected to the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR.


The disclosures by Microsoft and HPE are in line with new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations requiring companies to report significant cybersecurity incidents. Following the announcement, HPE's stock remained stable in after-hours trading, priced at $15.76.


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