Lawmakers Unhappy as Microsoft Set to Get $150 Million via New US Cyber Funding — Report

By Avi Ben Ezra Monday, March 15, 2021

Microsoft is reportedly set to receive almost 25% of coronavirus stimulus funds intended for United States cybersecurity defenders.

Entrance to the Microsoft Silicon Valley campus.

Microsoft Shouldn’t Be Rewarded, Lawmakers Warn

The fact that Microsoft, whose software has recently sustained two major cyberattacks, is due to receive funds is infuriating some lawmakers, according to Reuters.

President Biden signed the relief bill on Thursday, and Congress allocated the funds at issue after two large-scale cyberattacks took advantage of weaknesses in the company’s products and gained access to computer networks at federal and local agencies, as well as thousands of companies.

One of the hacks managed to steal emails from the Justice Department, Commerce Department, and Treasury Department. Cyberattacks are considered a major national security threat, and that’s why some lawmakers do not want to provide more funds to the tech business, whose software is allegedly easy to leverage.

“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.”

According to the spending plan, the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has set aside over $150 million of their fresh $650 million funding to build a “secure cloud platform.”

To be more specific, these funds have been allocated for Microsoft in a bid to help other federal agencies to improve their current deals with the tech giant and reinforce cybersecurity in their cloud systems.

On Sunday, the tech business noted that even though all of its cloud software has its own security systems, “larger organizations may require more advanced capabilities such as a greater depth of security logs and the ability to investigate those logs and take action.”

Wyden and three other legislators have voiced their concerns about the spending plan, while other cyber officials believe they have no other choice but to increase the funding. Representative Dutch Ruppersberger said Congress should explore “why security is an afterthought in the procurement process” and stop approving the lowest bidders.

Summary

Microsoft is likely to receive nearly a quarter of the COVID-19 stimulus funds intended for US cybersecurity, frustrating some lawmakers who lost faith in the tech company after its products sustained two major cyberattacks.

About the Author


Headshot of Avi Ben Ezra

Avi Ben Ezra is the CTO and Co-founder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.

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