Microsoft has been ordered by a court to take control of six fake websites that would be the work of Russian hackers. These sites mimic real pages belonging to Republican organizations and thus try to steal information and passwords from the duped users.
The Russian team of hackers who tried to interfere in the US presidential election targets conservative think tanks to steal data, said Microsoft on Monday.
The result of a court order, the software giant took control last week of six fake websites involved in the campaign, said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, in a blog. These pirates are linked to a Russian military agency, formerly known as the GRU, he says. The goal is to let users believe they are accessing links managed by these organizations, while redirecting them to fake sites managed by hackers to steal information, including passwords.
“A threat to security”
Thus, one of the pirated sites seemed to imitate that of the International Republican Institute, whose committee includes Republican senators like John McCain, Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Brad Smith. Another is like the Hudson Institute website, which organizes discussions around topics such as computer security. A hacked site imitated that of the US Senate.
“We are concerned that these and other sites pose a threat to the security of a growing number of groups related to both US political parties in the run-up to the 2018 mid-term elections,” writes Brad Smith. “It’s a new demonstration that the Russians are not really doing partisan attacks. They are conducting attacks they perceive in their own national interest, ” said Eric Rosenbach, director of the Defending Digital Democracy project at Harvard University, interviewed by the New York Times.
“It’s about disrupting and weakening any group that challenges the way Putin’s Russia operates at home and around the world,” adds Rosenbach.