The FBI made digital copies of malicious web-shells before removing them from hundreds of vulnerable servers in the US, without any warning to affected organizations. The servers likely belong to private-sector companies that had been compromised via the “Proxylogon” Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities. A court order issued by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) authorized the FBI to conduct the actions. Affected organizations were reportedly only contacted if the FBI could find contact details through the servers’ WHOIS records. The DoJ’s and FBI’s actions have raised concerns that extend to the companies’ privacy, proportionality and accountability, and the government’s role in combating cyber-threat events.
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