Cybersecurity · cyberwar · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Microsoft using lawsuits to thwart Putin’s hackers


Microsoft lawyers have quietly been fighting back against the Russian hacking group that attacked the Democratic party last year, by taking it to court, according to a report in the Daily Beast.

Beginning in August 2016, around six weeks after the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike declared the group often called Fancy Bear or APT 28 as the culprit of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack, Microsoft began suing the group to disrupt its infrastructure.

Hackers use intermediary servers to send commands to computers controlled by their malware, which are typically hidden behind innocuous sounding domain names like “livemicrosoft[.]net.” Microsoft has successfully sued for 70 different domains used by APT 28, cutting off the attackers from their victims.

Microsoft has sued APT 28 as a general anonymous group rather than a government organization — serving papers over email accounts associated with the command and control servers. According to the Daily Beast, trackers placed in the emails show they have been opened, with no response.

APT 28 has, thus far, missed its court dates, according to the Daily Beast.

In addition to the DNC, APT 28 has been linked to attacks on the German parliament, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the web news source Bellingcat, as well as other targets.



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