Russian Hackers Now Targeting Conservative Think Tanks in Midterm Run-ups

Tech giant Microsoft is sounding the alarm about Russian hacking group "Strontium," also known as "Fancy Bear."

Microsoft is the world's most valuable company. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

The same Russian hacking group linked to attacking Hillary Clinton’s presidential election campaign is now targeting two conservative think tanks ahead of the midterm elections, according to Microsoft.

Websites created to mimic the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute — both of which the Guardian reports are “allied against Donald Trump — were caught by the tech giant. Additionally, three other websites were caught attempting to impersonate pages belonging to the US Senate.

“We’re concerned that these and other attempts pose security threats to a broadening array of groups connected with both American political parties in the run-up to the 2018 elections,” Microsoft president Brad Smith told reporters, noting: “We have no doubt in our minds” who is responsible for the attempts at hacking: Strontium.

The Guardian reports this group “is known to other security firms as Fancy Bear and APT28,” reporter Alex Hern writes. “The group was previously linked to the email hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. According to the US special counsel Robert Mueller, Fancy Bear has ties to the Russian intelligence agency, the GRU.”

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