Russian hackers trying to disrupt European government systems

Russian hackers are targeting European government systems ahead of the EU parliament election in May, according to cybersecurity company FireEye.

In their attempt to gather government information, two state-sponsored hacking groups – APT28, also known as Fancy Bear, and Sandworm — have been sending out phishing emails to officials, Engadget reported on Thursday, citing research from FireEye.

“The groups could be trying to gain access to the targeted networks in order to gather information that will allow Russia to make more informed political decisions, or it could be gearing up to leak data that would be damaging for a particular political party or candidate ahead of the European elections,” FireEye’s Senior Manager of Cyberespionage Analysis, Benjamin Read, said in a statement.

The Milpitas, California-headquartered firm said the campaigns by the two Russian groups are ongoing, but the firm did not say whether any sensitive data had been linked.

Microsoft last month warned that it detected recent activity targeting democratic institutions in Europe.

The software giant claimed to have recently detected 104 targeted accounts belonging to organisations, including the German Council on Foreign Relations, The Aspen Institutes in Europe and The German Marshall Fund.

It is believed that many of these attacks originated from a Russian hacking group.

IANS