May 28, 2021

Russian hackers target aid groups in new cyber-attack, says Microsoft

Microsoft says another wave of Russian cyber-attacks has targeted government agencies and human rights groups in 24 countries, most in the US. It said about 3,000 email accounts at more than 150 different organisations had been attacked this week. The group responsible was the same one that carried out last year's SolarWinds attacks, which Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service is accused of orchestrating, Microsoft said. In a blog post published late on Thursday, Microsoft said the new attacks targeted government agencies involved in foreign policy as part of "Intelligence gathering efforts". According to Microsoft, Nobelium, a group originating in Russia, launched this week's attacks by gaining access to an email marketing account used by the US federal government's aid agency, USAID. Hackers then sent emails that looked authentic but included a link which, when clicked, inserted a malicious file enabling the stealing of data and infecting other computers on a network. Microsoft said many of the attacks targeting its customers were blocked automatically.

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