Microsoft Russian hacking group overview:
- Who: Microsoft announced it is working to disrupt a Russian hacking group it calls SEABORGIUM.
- Why: Microsoft says SEABORGIUM has persistently targeted employees at intelligence and defense consulting companies with malicious files.
- Where: SEABORGIUM is a threat to companies nationwide.
Microsoft announced it is taking aim at a Russian hacking group accused of targeting employees at dozens of intelligence and defense consulting companies since as far back as 2017.
The Russian hacking group, which is being called SEABORGIUM, reportedly has been “highly persistent” in attempts to trick employees into clicking on malicious files, according to a Microsoft blog post on Monday.
“SEABORGIUM is a threat actor that originates from Russia with objectives and victimology that align closely with Russian state interests,” the company writes.
Microsoft claims SEABORGIUM targeted more than 20 organizations with most originating in the United States, UK and other NATO countries in attacks since the beginning of the year alone.
SEABORGIUM also engaged in what is known as hack-and-leak campaigns, which is when hackers steal and then leak data in an attempt to create narratives in targeted countries, Microsoft says.
“(The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center) assesses that information collected during SEABORGIUM intrusions likely supports traditional espionage objectives and information operations as opposed to financial motivations,” the company writes.
Microsoft says Google, Proofpoint helped disable SEABORGIUM email, LinkedIn accounts
Microsoft says it enlisted the help of cybersecurity threat researchers at Proofpoint and Google to help disable LinkedIn and email accounts used by the Russian hacking group to reach its targets.
SEABORGIUM tends to take a slow approach when attempting to infiltrate its targets by impersonating legitimate contacts that it finds within social networks. The group may also send phishing emails where they pose as a manager warning employees about a threat to cybersecurity, according to the blog post.
“SEABORGIUM is a highly persistent threat actor, frequently targeting the same organizations over long periods of time,” Microsoft writes. “Once successful, it slowly infiltrates targeted organizations’ social networks through constant impersonation, rapport building and phishing to deepen their intrusion.”
In related Microsoft news, in June, Microsoft announced that it was officially shutting down its Internet Explorer web browser and began redirecting users to its Microsoft Edge browser, which the company says is more modern, secure and faster.
Are you concerned that your data could be compromised by a Russian hacking group? Let us know in the comments!
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