Most cyber-attacks on Microsoft customers ordered by a country are the work of Russia, Microsoft reports based on its own data.
The software company sent 13,000 alerts to customers about hacking attempts by countries in the last 2 years.
Of the incidents between July 2019 and June 2020, 52 percent were related to Russian hackers, with targets ranging from elections to the Olympics.
A quarter of the incidents could have been traced back to Iran, and China is said to have been responsible for 12 percent. The other attacks came from North Korea and other countries.
Russian hackers have carried out cyber attacks on elections and political organizations in multiple countries. Non-profit organizations, service industries, and universities are also sometimes targeted, Microsoft said.
Hackers with links to the Kremlin also attacked 16 sports and anti-doping organizations on three continents while investigations of Russian athletes were ongoing.
Chinese hackers are also trying to collect information about organizations involved in the elections, Microsoft says. There have also been cyberattacks related to medical research.
Among the multiple attempts to hack medical research facilities was an attack in March on an American university working on a corona vaccine.
Hospitals, including other Microsoft customers in several countries, have been attacked by hackers with ransomware, which locks files until users have paid the hackers ransom. Ransomware is the “most problematic” and “fastest-growing” cybercrime threat, said Microsoft’s vice president.