Russian hackers plan to target US Senate
THE Russian governmentaligned hackers who penetrated the Democratic Party in the US have spent the past few months laying the groundwork for an e spionage campaign against the Senate, a cybersecurity firm has said.
The revelation suggests the group, often nicknamed Fancy Bear, whose hacking campaign scrambled the 2016 US electoral contest, is trying to gather the emails of America’s political elite.
“They’re still very active – in making preparations at least – to influence public opinion again,” said Feike Hacquebord, a security researcher at Trend Micro, which published the report.
“They are looking for information they might leak later.”
The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, which is responsible for the upper house’s security, declined to comment.
Mr Hacquebord said he based his report on the discovery of a clutch of suspicious-looking websites dressed up to look like the Senate’s internal email system.
He then cross-referenced digital fingerprints linked with those sites to ones used almost exclusively by Fancy Bear. Tokyo-based Trend Micro previously drew international attention when it used the technique to uncover decoy websites apparently set up to harvest emails from Emmanuel Macron’s French presidential campaign last April.
The discovery was followed two months later by a still-unexplained publication of private emails from several Macron staffers in the final days of the race.
Mr Hacquebord said the rogue Senate sites – set up in June and September 2017 – matched their French counterparts.
“That is exactly the way they attacked the Macron campaign in France,” he said.