Spoofed Domains Target U.S. Senate and Political Organizations
In a blog post by Microsoft's president, the company has identified six spoofed domain names created by the hacking group, Fancy Bear (also referred to as Strontium or APT28).
Who Are They Targeting?
The domains are mimicking the websites of political think tanks and nonprofits, such as the Hudson Institute and the International Republic Institute.
Three others appear to be related to the U.S. Senate's email and Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS), the system that handles user identity and authentication. Another could be mistaken for Microsoft's own Office 365 service, OneDrive, a cloud-based file system.
Microsoft has executed a court order to gain control of the domains. While they haven't identified an actual attack yet, they've expressed concern about the recent activity targeting political groups and elected officials.
What Are the Threats?
Spoofed sites can present a number of threats to politicians or any user visiting the fake domains.
- Drive-by download. Simply by visiting a malicious site, a user could unintentionally download malware onto their computer. With the help of an exploit kit hosted on the site, attackers can run code that checks your operating system, web browser, plugins, etc. for vulnerabilities before launching malware.
- Credential or other data theft. For example, with sites pretending to be email, single sign-on or cloud-based file systems associated with the U.S. Senate, attackers could create a convincing login form that steals Senators' credentials - and gives attackers access to accounts protected only by a password.
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