Cybersecurity firms and Microsoft Corp. see hackers linked to China and other governments among a growing mix of cyberattackers seeking to exploit a widespread and severe vulnerability in computer server software, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Both Microsoft and cybersecurity firm Mandiant observed hacking groups linked to China and Iran launching attacks that exploit the flaw in Log4j, a free bit of code that logs activity in computer networks and applications.
Microsoft also saw nation-backed hackers from North Korea and Turkey using the attack. Some attackers appear to be experimenting with the attack; others using it to break into online targets.
Government-sponsored hackers are often among the best-resourced and most capable, analysts say.
One of the groups exploiting the security hole in Log4j is the same China-backed group linked to a widespread attack on Microsoft Exchange servers earlier this year.
Researchers find the Log4j flaw particularly worrying because the free Java-based software exists in everything from security software to networking tools to video game servers.
By Anusuya Lahiri