قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / US / New Russian hacking targeted Republican groups, Microsoft says

New Russian hacking targeted Republican groups, Microsoft says



BOSTON – The Russian military intelligence agency, which wanted to influence the 2016 elections, seems to have a new goal: conservative American think tanks that have broken with President Trump, calling for further sanctions against Moscow, suspending oligarchs or advocating human rights.

In a report scheduled for release on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporation said it detected and confiscated Web sites created in recent weeks by hackers affiliated with Russian unity, formerly known as GRU The sites wanted to make people believe that they were clicking through links operated by the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute, but were secretly being redirected to websites created by hackers to steal passwords and other credentials.

Microsoft also found websites imitating the United States Senate, but not certain senate offices or political campaigns

The turn to conservative think tanks underlines the goals of the Russian intelligence service: to disrupt any institution that challenges Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin ,

On Sunday, current national security adviser John R. Bolton said Russia is not the only threat in the autumn elections. He also called China, Iran and North Korea – the other most active cyber-operators among the opponents of the state – as threats.

But so far, Microsoft and other companies from these nations have not found extensive campaigning.

Senior United States intelligence officials also warn that the midterm elections are being targeted by foreign governments that want to influence American voters.

Last month at Aspen Security Forum, Christopher A. Wray, FBI. The director said his agency saw information operations aimed at "To sow disunity and disunity in the land".

It was not until days later, in a report that was first presented to members of Congress, that Facebook revealed that it was a influence on the operation, which aims to promote the division of Americans by targeting progressive groups aims. Facebook did not stop calling Russia the culprit of this campaign, even though the social media company pointed to similarities between the influence operation and earlier work of the Russian state Internet Research Agency.

The attempt uncovered by Microsoft reflected the Russians' efforts against state-backed hackers ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Following the vote in 2016, a number of cybersecurity companies discovered that websites created by Russian hackers were the same as known ones To fake or imitate institutions. Think tanks included the Council on Foreign Relations and the Eurasia Group, both in New York; the Center for New American Security in Washington; Transparency International in Berlin; and the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

A single letter or even a punctuation mark was often the only difference between the real and the fake website.

The counterfeit websites were used as a channel for a number of attacks, including convincing victims to download malicious malware or revealing passwords and other personal information. But for a year, Microsoft has been aggressively attacking them.

In 2016, a federal judge in Virginia agreed that the group calls Microsoft strontium and other APT 28 an advanced persistent threat. would continue his attacks. The judge appointed a "special master" with the authority to authorize Microsoft to use fake websites once they are registered. As a result, hackers have lost control of many of the sites just days after they were created.

But it's a constant cat-and-mouse game as Russian hackers seek new attack vectors while Microsoft and others seek to cut them off.

"These attacks happen because they work, they're always successful," said Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, who doubted anyone could forestall hackers.

"Microsoft is playing here," says Mr. Whack-a-Mole. Said Rid. "These sites are easy to register and upload, so they will continue to do so."

Last month, Microsoft announced it had detected and supported similar attacks on two senators for reelection. Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, facing one of the toughest political challenges this year, acknowledged that her election campaign was among them after she kept the news a secret for months – apparently to voters playing Russia's role in voting doubt alienating] Microsoft says it is expanding its efforts to help political candidates counteract foreign influence. It launches an initiative called "AccountGuard" to strengthen the protection of candidates and campaign offices at the federal, state and local levels as well as think tanks and political organizations.

With the Midterms less than three months away, Microsoft said it would step up cooperation between tech companies and the federal government over their efforts to join the American election.

"Over the last year, larger tech companies, in particular, have introduced stronger information sharing practices. These threats are emerging," said Mr. Smith. "However, these agreements are informal."


Source link