Microsoft has detected cyber attacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organisations across Europe in the lead-up to European Parliament elections.Between September and December, the computing firm discovered that more than 100 accounts belonging to organisations’ employees in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Serbia had been attacked, which the company believes was carried out by a group called Strontium.“We quickly notified each of these organisations when we discovered they were targeted so they could take steps to secure their systems, and we took a variety of technical measures to protect customers from these attacks,” Microsoft said.In a bid to prevent further attacks, the company announced it was expanding the availability of its Microsoft AccountGuard detection and notification system to eligible organisations, at no additional cost in 12 countries across the continent.The service is already available in the UK, Ireland, the US and Canada.The … [Read more...] about Microsoft alerts EU democracy groups to cyber attacks ahead of elections
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Microsoft revealed today that a Russian nation-station hacking group targeted political organizations engaged in the upcoming the upcoming 2019 European Parliament election --scheduled for the end of May."We've seen recent activity targeting democratic institutions in Europe as part of the work our Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) and Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) carry out every day to protect all of our customers," said Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President, Customer Security & Trust at Microsoft."These attacks are not limited to campaigns themselves but often extend to think tanks and non-profit organizations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, and public policy and that are often in contact with government officials," Burt added. "For example, Microsoft has recently detected attacks targeting employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of The Aspen Institute and The German Marshall Fund."Microsoft said it detected attacks … [Read more...] about Microsoft reveals new APT28 cyber-attacks against European political entities
Both China and Russia now have the capabilities to launch cyber attacks that could at least temporarily disrupt US critical infrastructure such as gas pipelines or power networks, according to intelligence officials.The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community is a document published each year, which itemises the significant threats to the US and its allies. It said that currently China and Russia pose the greatest espionage and cyber attack threats to the US but also warned that other adversaries and strategic competitors will increasingly build and integrate cyber espionage, attack, and influence capabilities into their efforts to influence US policies.It warned that rivals to the US have experimented with growing capabilities to "shape and alter the information and systems" which the country relies on. "As we connect and integrate billions of new digital devices into our lives and business processes, adversaries and strategic competitors almost certainly … [Read more...] about Cyber attacks: China and Russia can disrupt US power networks warns intelligence report
Countries are increasingly joining forces to name-and-shame nations that launch disruptive cyber attacks, but the move should have happened sooner, according to the former Foreign Secretary of Estonia.Marina Kaljurand served in the role from July 2015 to October 2016 and has been involved in Estonia's foreign affairs since the early 1990s.The country has a population of 1.3 million, but it's become a benchmark of digital and online services, with 99 percent of government services available digitally.However, this reliance on the internet made Estonia vulnerable: in 2007 the country became the first in the world to become a victim of politically motivated cyber attacks when a series of distributed denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks targeted infrastructure.At the time of the incident Estonia was involved in a political dispute with Russia; the Kremlin denied it was involved with the attacks, although Estonia remains unconvinced. "Our then defence minister answered the question and his … [Read more...] about Too little, too late? Should we be faster to point the finger of blame at cyber attackers?
It's been a year since the gigantic WannaCry ransomware cyber attack caused chaos across the world, hitting more than 230,000 computers in total.The hard drive encrypting malware spread so fast because the group behind it had combined normal malware with EternalBlue, a leaked NSA hacking tool which allowed WannaCry to use worm-like capabilities to self-propagate on vulnerable Windows systems.While there was some initial speculation that WannaCry was spread in an email spam campaign, the ransomware didn't in fact require any user interaction at all. Combining EternalBlue and another leaked exploit in the form of DoublePulsar, the worm looked for vulnerable public facing SMB ports it could establish a connection to.Once these were located, the leaked SMB exploits were harnessed to not only deploy WannaCry on that particular system, but to spread to all other vulnerable machines on the connected network. In essence, even just one open, vulnerable SMB port could lead to a whole network … [Read more...] about WannaCry ransomware crisis, one year on: Are we ready for the next global cyber attack?