A renowned Russian hacking group known as Fancy Bear is identified as the primary faction responsible for several United States Democrat parties’ most recent attacks. They are looking to repeat the similar assaults that happened a few years ago, during the election year involving the Clinton campaign of 2016. The group was also known as Strontium and/or APT28 – credited for other politically-inclined hacking attacks against other government-owned firms.
Fancy Bear has always been regarded as the GRU’s cyber syndicate arm, the Russian Military Agency. Of course, it was involved in 2016’s attack against the DNC (Democratic National Campaign) and John Podesta, the Clintons’ campaign head. The United States’ Department of Justice has since charged a total of 12 members from the GRU back in 2018, marking them responsible for the hacks and infiltration of State election party groups. The leaked emails and documents from the Clinton campaign marked the fall and has proved terribly damaging to their political endeavors.
US President Donald Trump has initially expressed doubts against the involvement of the Russian Government in the hacks. This is his stand even though there was official confirmation from the United States’ Intelligence community of Russia’s participation in the infiltration campaign.
Regardless of the US President’s view, these most recent attacks on the democratic parties were apparently a failure according to security researchers, more notably, Microsoft. Aside from the political parties, the group apparently tried to hack and infiltrate the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Center for American Progress (CAP), and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP). According to security researchers’ preliminary investigation, these think tanks and state firms were the initially identified organizations included in the attacks, according to security researchers’ preliminary analysis.
Since the attack was dismissed as unsuccessful, there was no clear indication of the group’s primary purpose other than the fact they are interested in taking down the communications agencies working for the Democratic parties. To be more specific, they are inclined to take out the support arms for presidential candidate Joe Biden and other democrats. The security researchers identified that the initial attempt to infiltrate the campaign people’s email addresses were executed but was unsuccessful.
Needless to say, Microsoft and the other security researchers immediately warned the targeted groups that Fancy Bear is a very persistent and established name when it comes to political sabotage campaigns.
This means that while the supposed hack attack was unsuccessful, they should remain vigilant and be on the lookout as these might just be the first phase of an even more massive attack.
Hacking groups, especially those that are quite known, have a reputation to protect and uphold. They don’t really take defeat or failure that easily. Hackers are quite available to go above and beyond their capabilities to acquire their target and serve their ultimate purpose. Regardless if it’s information or money, we all should be aware of the threats they present and the devastation they are capable of.