Russian Hackers Went After Conservative US Groups

Russian Hackers Went After Conservative US Groups

Russian Hackers Went After Conservative US Groups

Smith said one such site appeared to mimic that of the International Republican Institute, which promotes democratic principles and whose board includes Republican senators, among them John McCain, who have been critical of President Vladimir Putin.

"What is particular in this instance is the broadening of the type of websites they are going after", he told The New York Times, adding "These are organizations that are informally tied to Republicans, so we see them broadening beyond the sites they have targeted in the past".

These encouraged people to enter their login information, including passwords.

DCU president Brad Smith announced the discoveries in a blog post Monday evening, saying that his team has been in close contact with the Senate's IT department, and will continue to monitor all affiliated domains. However, such efforts are equally unlikely to provide the company with any hard evidence on who might be behind the alleged attack.

Microsoft claims that its DCU has taken down 84 fake websites over the past two years and that more work is needed.

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The hoax pages are meant to dupe users into entering their usernames and passwords for the real webpages, so the credentials can be used during attacks.

The GRU hackers also set up fake internet domains that were purportedly for the US Senate, according to Microsoft.

The hacking attempts mirror similar Russian attacks ahead of the 2016 election, which US intelligence officials have said were focused on helping to elect Republican Donald Trump to the presidency by hurting his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Russian Federation is accused of trying to sway the vote in 2016 through disinformation campaigns and targeted hacking, setting in motion a fiery dispute between Trump and Democrats.

"We now 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", Smith said.

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Russian Federation denies meddling in the elections while President Trump has denied any collusion.

The Washington Post reported that there were phony versions of six websites.

Last month US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a talk at the Hudson Institute that, among cyber threats, "Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor -- no question".

Experts said the aim was to go after anyone who opposes Putin.

Three US intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the Russian hacking into traditional Republican policy organisations is neither new nor confined to Russia. Russian Federation rejected Microsoft's accusations that it was attempting to influence upcoming US elections, which will determine control of Congress, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing an unidentified diplomatic official.

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