In response to Russia’s “unjustified, unprovoked, and illegitimate invasion” of Ukraine, Microsoft declared that it will halt all additional business of products and services in Russia. Microsoft President and Vice-Chair Brad Smith said, “We are announcing today that we will cease all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia.”
“In addition, we are closely collaborating and working in lockstep with the US, European Union, and UK governments, and we are suspending various elements of our business in Russia in accordance with state sanctions decisions.” Since the outbreak of war, Microsoft has been assisting Ukrainian cybersecurity officials in defending against Russian cyberattacks, according to Smith.
Redmond’s security professionals have assisted in thwarting attempts to breach over 20 Ukrainian government, IT, and financial companies, with the most recent example being cyberattacks on multiple civilian websites, one of which was targeting “a major Ukrainian broadcaster.”
According to the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC), Ukraine’s networks were targeted in devastating attacks with FoxBlade malware, which was initially discovered by antivirus firms Symantec and ESET one day before the invasion began and called HermeticWiper by SentinelOne.
“We are committed to the safety of our employees in Ukraine as a company, and we are in continual communication with them to offer assistance in a variety of ways, including to those who have had to evacuate for their lives or safety. We stand with Ukraine in advocating for peace, respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and the protection of its people, as do so many others.”
— Brad Smith
Microsoft joins the ranks of all other tech industry giants who have suspended offering support and selling their products in Russia. For example, due to sanctions imposed by the US, the EU, and other nations around the world, Intel and AMD have ceased processor sales and will no longer supply their products to Russia.
On Thursday, Intel stated, “We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and the international community in calling for an early end to this bloodshed and a fast restoration to peace.” On Friday, Microsoft made no mention of terminating existing assistance, most likely because violating a contract might be considered a war crime in Russia.