Brad Smith, vice president and president of Microsoft, speaks at Gateway Technical College in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, on May 8, 2024.

Alex Wroblewski | Bloomberg | Getty Images

House committee wants MicrosoftThe company’s top lawyer, Brad Smith, will attend a hearing this month about the company’s software abuses that led to hackers obtaining the emails of US government officials.

Politicians regularly demand that tech companies send their leaders to Washington. The CEOs of Alphabet, Meta and TikTok have answered questions from members of Congress in recent years. Microsoft, the world’s most valuable public company, sells email software subscriptions that are widely used in business and government, making it an obvious target for hackers.

A proposed hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee at 10 a.m. ET on May 22 in Washington will examine Microsoft’s response to the breach of Chinese government officials’ email accounts that the company disclosed last summer. The attack included accounts belonging to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., and Nicholas Burns, the U.S. ambassador to China.

But Smith may not necessarily appear at the time the committee asked for in a a letter send it on thursday.

“We are always committed to providing Congress with information that is important to the security of the nation, and we look forward to discussing the specifics of the best time and way to do so,” a Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC in an email Thursday.

Last month, the Cybersecurity Review Board said in 34 pages report about the attack that “Microsoft’s customers will benefit from its CEO and board of directors directly focused on the company’s security culture.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella directed employees to put security first in a note last week. The company announced operational changes which address the deficiencies identified by the independent federal board in the report.

Charlie Bell, executive vice president of security, said Microsoft would “improve the accuracy, efficiency, transparency and speed of public communications and customer engagement” after the board raised concerns that the company did not fix an error on a corporate blog for months.

In January, Microsoft reported another cyber attack. This time, Russian intelligence gained access to the email accounts of some of the company’s top executives.

Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tenn., and Benny Thompson, D-Miss., said in their letter inviting Smith to the hearing that they were encouraged by the company’s plans to review its security practices. But they said the company’s failure to stop the attacks put Americans at risk.

“Given the seriousness of the issues discussed above and the need for thorough investigation and oversight, it is extremely important that you appear before the committee,” Green and Thompson wrote.

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