Russian hackers are laying the groundwork to spy on the US Senate, cybersecurity firm says

Business Insider | 5/18/2017 | Natasha Bertrand
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The cybersecurity firm Trend Micro found evidence that Russian hackers targeted the US Senate's internal email system in mid-2017.

The phishing emails, while not advanced in nature, are often "the starting point of further attacks that include stealing sensitive data from email inboxes," the researchers said.

Hackers - Methods - Year - Emails - Email

The Russian hackers used the same methods last year to try to steal emails from the email server used by French President Emmanuel Macron's political party.

The US Senate was targeted last year by the same hacking group that broke into the Democratic National Committee servers during the 2016 presidential election, according to the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro.

Research - Firm - Sites - Pawn - Storm

The research firm found that phishing sites were set up by Pawn Storm, also known as Fancy Bear or APT28, mimicking the Senate's internal email system in an attempt to gain users' login credentials.

"By looking at the digital fingerprints of these phishing sites and comparing them with a large data set that spans almost five years, we can uniquely relate them to a couple of Pawn Storm incidents in 2016 and 2017," the researchers wrote.

Phishing - Emails - Nature - Point - Attacks

They added that the phishing emails, while not advanced in nature, are often "the starting point of further attacks that include stealing sensitive data from email inboxes."

The June 2017 phishing attempts would not have been the first time Russia tried to infiltrate the US Senate. In its extensive analysis of Fancy Bear's targets during the presidential election, the Associated Press found that Senate staffers Robert Zarate, Josh Holmes, and Jason Thielman were targeted between 2015-2016.

Fancy - Bear - Hit - List - Period

Fancy Bear had a "digital hit list" throughout that period that targeted a wide range of Russia's perceived enemies, including former Secretary of State John Kerry, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, and half of the feminist protest punk rock group **** Riot.

Trend Micro said that the Senate's...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Business Insider
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