A new Russian hacking atempt found by Microsoft, targeted the United States’ Senate and conservative think tanks before the 2018 mid-term elections.
Microsoft said that the hacking group APT28, which is believed to be funded by the Russian Government, created at least six different websites that related to US Senate and conservative organizations to trick its visitors and hack into their computers.
Three of the fake web domains were designed to look as if they belonged to the U.S. Senate, while one non-political website spoofed Microsoft’s online products. The two other fake websites were created to imitate two U.S. conservative organizations:
- The Hudson Institute — a conservative Washington think tank hosting extended discussions on topics including cybersecurity, among other important activities.
- The International Republican Institute (IRI) — a nonprofit group that promotes democracy worldwide and whose board includes prominent Republican figures like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former Republican National Committee Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf.
Microsoft did not go into more points of interest, saying “To be clear, we currently have no evidence these domains were used in any successful attacks before the DCU transferred control of them, nor do we have evidence to indicate the identity of the ultimate targets of any planned attack involving these domains.” Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit terminated the fake sites, after acquiring court approval a year ago. Up until this point, they have utilized the courts twelve times since 2016 to close down 84 counterfeit websites made by APT28.