Another Russian Cyber Attack, 3 Weeks Before Biden-Putin Meeting In Switzerland
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Microsoft says a group of Russian-backed hackers launched another cyberattack on U.S. government and foreign agencies, though Russia has denied involvement.
A cyber attack hits the U.S. State Department Agency for International Development. The hackers inserted malware that sent emails to more than 150 recipients, including human rights groups and other organizations. Microsoft says the attack came from the same Russia-based group, Nobelium, behind the massive SolarWinds hack, that targeted: U.S. (Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Treasury, and Department of State). According to Microsoft, this time the automated system blocked most of the malicious emails and marked them as spams. Security official said this time the attack is focused on obtaining information on Putin’s opponents. It does appear as though the modest sanction from last month resulting from SolarWinds cyber attack is not sufficient in stopping the cyber attacks. The fact that this attack is taking place within three weeks of the meeting between Presidents Biden and Putin in Geneva, Switzerland, there will need to be discussion in clear rules of nation-state conduct in cyber space and clearly stated consequences when there is violations of these rules. Last month, there was modest sanction on Russia for the SolarWinds cyber attack, and President Biden said he would be prepared to take further actions if hackings are not stopped.
in the video published on May 28, 2021, “Russian Hackers Target U.S. State Department Foreign Aid Agency“, below:
CBS News political contributor and Washington Post White House reporter Sean Sullivan joins CBSN’s Lana Zak to discuss the hack and more, in the video published on May 28, 2021, “Microsoft says Russian-backed hackers are behind another cyberattack“, below:
Microsoft is warning of an active cyberattack campaign, apparently launched by Russia-based hackers, that appears to be targeting U.S. government agencies and other groups. NBC chief White House correspondent Kristen Welker reports for TODAY, in the video published on May 28, 2021, “Russian Hackers Launch Wave Of Overnight Attacks“, below:
The group behind the cyber attack is known as Nobelium, linked to Vladimir Putin’s intelligence unit and the master mind behind SolarWinds cyber attack last year. The Russian hacking group behind the supply chain attack that poisoned software updates for the SolarWinds Orion platform has been perfecting its email-based attacks over the past few months to plant backdoors inside organizations. This Russian state-sponsored group has shifted to targeted email attacks that exploit third party services. This time Microsoft says this cyber attack has targeted about 3,000 individual accounts at more than 150 organizations in 24 countries, that had been critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, using emails appearing as though it is from USAID. Attacks were launched from a hijacked email marketing account belonging to USAID.
The hacking group tied to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Services (SVR), according to the U.S. and UK governments, has a history of targeting governmental or government-tied organizations. In this latest email campaign observed by Microsoft, about a quarter of Nobelium’s targets were organizations involved in international development, humanitarian, and human rights work.
In a blog post, corporate vice president for Customer Security & Trust at Microsoft, Tom Burt, said, “This time Nobelium targeted many humanitarian and human rights organizations. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Russian actor Strontium targeted healthcare organizations involved in vaccines. In 2019, Strontium targeted sporting and anti-doping organizations. And we’ve previously disclosed activity by Strontium and other actors targeting major elections in the U.S. and elsewhere. This is yet another example of how cyber attacks have become the tool of choice for a growing number of nation-states to accomplish a wide variety of political objectives, with the focus of these attacks by Nobelium on human rights and humanitarian organizations.”
White House states that the cyber attack will not change President Biden’s plan to meet with Putin in Switzerland in three weeks. Undoubtedly, these cyber attacks will be part of the discussion during the meeting between Biden and Putin in Switzerland.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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