Russian hacking group Fancy Bear has been accused by Microsoft of launching a series of recent attacks against think tanks in Europe.
The tech giant warned in a blog post on February 20 that hackers attempted to breach accounts at several prominent European think tanks and non-profit organizations in late 2018. It said the hackers used malicious websites and spoofed emails to try and gain access to the credentials of employees located in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Serbia.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, Microsoft reportedly detected attacks targeting 104 staff accounts at the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of Aspen Institute and the German Marshall Fund.
Microsoft added it was “confident” many of those attacks, which took place between September and December last year, were staged by a group it called Strontium — also known as Fancy Bear, APT28 and other names.
According to DW, the cyber espionage group is believed to be affiliated with Russian military intelligence. It is perhaps best known for hacking the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US presidential elections.
Also, the group’s attack on Germany’s lower house of parliament in 2015 resulted in a data breach.
Meanwhile, Microsoft used its February 20 blog post to announce it was making its cybersecurity service AccountGuard available to 12 new markets in Europe, including Germany, France and Spain.