A chain of suspicious-looking websites that are made to look exactly as the U.S. Senate’s internal email system was discovered by a Tokyo-based cybersecurity firm. By the findings of the firm the websites functioned as part of an email-harvesting operation that targeted U.S. officials. The Associated Press reported that the group behind this is the Russian Hacker organization known as “Fancy Bear”.
This way of a hacking in order to obtain official emails is same as an operation that was done against the French President Emmanuel Macron during the elections there last year. That incident resulted in the publication of all Macron’s campaign emails. Trend Micro is the cybersecurity firm that discovered about the operation.
“That is exactly the way they attacked the Macron campaign in France,” stated Feike Hacquebord, an analyst at the company.
With another saying, “We are 100 percent sure that it can be attributed to the Pawn Storm group,” Pawn Storm is another name that is used by the Fancy Bear hacking group.
The Hill reports that the Trend Micro found that the websites targeting the U.S. Senate were made in June and September 2017. The Senate was previously targeted by hacking groups both in 2015 and 2016, where political leaders like Senator Marco Rubio and a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell became victims.
Just a few days ago, the same hacking group released emails from numerous Olympic organizations, this happens right before the 2018 Winter Olympic Games are set to start in Seoul, South Korea. As reported by The Hill the hackers used the same tactic as the one in the Senate, the investigation regarding the Olympic attack was done by a separate cybersecurity firm called ThreatConnect.
“These suspicious domains have consistencies with other previously identified Fancy Bear infrastructure and raise the question of a broader campaign against the upcoming 2018 winter games,” the company officially announced.