Microsoft Uncovers Hack Targeting Democratic Institutions in Europe


On 20th February, Microsoft Corp stated that it had unearthed cyberattacks aimed at democratic institutions, non-profit organizations, and think tanks in Europe. It stated that it would offer cybersecurity service to many nations in order to deal with the security lapses.

The hacking took place between September and December 2018, aiming at employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations, The German Marshall Fund, and European offices of The Aspen Institute, according to the company’s post.

Microsoft stated that it found about the hacking through the company’s Threat Intelligence Center and Digital Crimes Unit, and the hacks aimed at 104 employee accounts in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Serbia.

Hackers in most instances develop malicious web links and feigned email addresses that looked authentic, wanting to gain entry to employee credentials and distribute malware, according to the company.

Microsoft stated that many of the assaults took place by a group known as Strontium, which the company has earlier linked with the Russian government.

Germany’s BSI federal cyber protection agency affirmed that Strontium, or APT 28, had been assaulting a huge range of organizations in Germany and around the world for years, but stated that it had not seen a generous increase in these activities.

BSI in response to a query from reporters stated that state-controlled groups like APT 28 are very active; however, it couldn’t make a direct connection to upcoming elections.

German officials have condemned a number of hacks, which includes the 2015 attack on the lower house of parliament, on APT 28. A German government spokesman last year stated Berlin was very confident that the Russian secret service was supporting the group. Russia has on a repeated basis refuted such claims.

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