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Hackers target democratic institutions in Europe, - Microsoft

Microsoft accused Russian hacking group Fancy Bear of launching a series of attacks against think tanks in Europe
11:35, 20 February 2019

cyber security
Reuters

Microsoft warned on Wednesday that hackers attempted to breach accounts at several prominent European think tanks and non-profit organizations in late 2018. This was reported by DW agency.

It is reported that Microsoft said it had detected attacks targeting 104 staff accounts at the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of Aspen Institute and the German Marshall Fund.

Microsoft added it was "confident" many of those attacks, which took place between September and December last year, were staged by a group it called Strontium — also known as Fancy Bear, APT28 and other names. 

The cyber espionage group is believed to be affiliated with Russian military intelligence, and is perhaps best known for hacking the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US presidential elections. The group's attack on Germany's lower house of parliament in 2015 resulted in a data breach.

In the recent incidents announced by Microsoft, hackers apparently used malicious websites and spoofed emails to try and gain access to the credentials of employees located in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Serbia.

Related: Ukraine's Security Service blocks 360 cyber incidents in 2018

The organizations they targeted largely focus on transatlantic policy issues, democracy and electoral integrity, and are seen as valuable for hackers as they often have close contact with government officials.

As it was reported earlier, National Security and Defense Secretary of Ukraine Olexandr Turchynov said Russia intended to involve cyber means to influence the upcoming elections in Ukraine

Cyber Security Center also considered the issue of the security of the Central Election Commission servers and readiness to counteract the possible cyber attacks during the election process, draft conception of the response to the military aggression in the cyberspace.

Related: Hundreds of German politicians suffered from cyber attack, spread of personal data on internet

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