Google blames suspected Russian hacking group for targeting 14,000 Gmail users
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Russian hackers targeted approximately 14,000 Gmail users last month, according to the company Threat Analysis Group. While 100 percent of the emails were blocked by spam, Google TAG director Shane Huntley characterized the batch as “above average” on Twitter.
The campaign from the group known at APT28 made up 86 percent of Google’s recent alerts to users about government-backed attackers, Huntley shared in an email. Google batches these kinds of alerts to users rather than during the moment of detection to help keep attackers from figuring out their defense strategies, he explained.
Several Gmail users reported on Twitter receiving the alert, including several researchers and journalists. Huntley said the campaign was targeted “across a wide variety of industries.”
According to the alert sent to users, government-based phishing attacks happen to “less than 0.1%” of all Gmail users. The alert included a tip about keeping Microsoft Word up to date.
The report is just the latest indication that in the wake of growing tensions between the United States and Russia over cybercrime, Russian state actors haven’t let up on espionage efforts.
In May Russian hackers breached Microsoft customer support to launch phishing attacks against government and non-governmental agencies and nonprofits in 36 countries, Microsoft reported. The attacks were largely unsuccessful.
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October 7, 2021 at 10:44AM