Russian military intelligence hackers accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election have targeted Democrats in California and Indiana and think tanks in Washington and New York City, it was reported.
The group, known as Fancy Bear, has targeted the e-mail accounts of Democratic parties in the two states, as well as the Center for American Progress, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Reuters reported, citing people who know about the matter. The Russian embassy in Washington has denied the allegations.
A 2018 indictment by the Justice Department linked Fancy Bear to the hacking of email accounts of the employees of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Here is @RusEmbUSA’s answer to our story. TLDR ? these are all fake messages.â
âRussia does not perform any offensive operations in the cyber domain.â ð pic.twitter.com/T6siNXWYlV
– Raphael Satter (@razhael) October 30, 2020
The agency reported that many of the attempted break-ins were internally flagged by Microsoft over the summer, and so far there is no evidence of a violation of any of the targets. Tekk.tv has asked Microsoft for comments.
The Indiana Democratic Party said in a statement that it was “not aware of any successful infiltrators,” while California Democratic Party Chairman Rusty Hicks admitted that it had been targeted but said that “the efforts of the foreign company were unsuccessful. Reuters reported that all the think tanks that were targeted have not been broken through either.
The Russian Embassy in Washington DC described the report in a statement as “fake news”: “We affirm that our country respects all processes taking place in the United States of America”, and added: “We do not interfere in their internal affairs”.
“These are all fake messages,” it was said, “Russia does not conduct offensive operations in the cyberspace”.
Last month Microsoft revealed that Fancy Bear had tried to hack over 200 organizations, many of which were connected with the election.
Microsoft was able to link this year’s cyber-espionage campaign to the Russian hackers through an obvious programming error that allowed the company to detect an attack pattern unique to Fancy Bear, according to an assessment reviewed by Reuters.
Microsoft said that attackers also connected with China and Iran tried to spy on those connected with both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.