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Russian cyber spies targeting NATO countries

According to a new industry report, cyber spies are being targeted by NATO countries as part of a hacking campaign.

Palo Alto, a cyber security company, stated that hackers are using online storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox to avoid detection.

Hacking attempts included phishing emails that contained an agenda for a meeting with an ambassador to lure victims. These emails were sent to several Western and NATOdiplomatic mission between May and June this year.

Sky News was informed by a spokesperson for Dropbox that they had worked with researchers and industry partners to resolve the matter and disabled all user accounts immediately.

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Palo Alto found that the attackers were part of the same organization blamed for SolarWinds breach 2020, which allowed Russia‘s spy access to at least nine US government agencies.

The US authorities responded with a substantial response to the success of that spying operation, which was only discovered when hackers decided to steal tools from Mandiant, a US cyber security company.

This led to the US imposing new sanctions against Russia and its officials. However, Russian government spokespeople repeatedly denied that they were to blame.

More about the NATO

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president at the time, called the attack on the supply-chain “the largest and best-planned attack the world has ever witnessed”, although critics questioned this statement.

The SVR, Russia’s military intelligence agency and hacking group, is not associated with hacking groups. However, it is thought to be more capable of conducting covert operations.

According to the US Cybersecurity Infrastructure Agency, SVR hackers “demonstrated patience and operational security as well as complex tradecraft” during previous attacks.

Researchers discovered that GRU hackers had breached the Democratic National Committee after the 2016 US elections. They also found that the SVR was present on these networks. In fact, the SVR had been there for over a year.

Both organizations appeared to be unaware that each other was working.

Continue reading: Europe will not be as safe if NATO doesn’t push Putin’s forces out. Foreign secretary warns

Image: Phishing emails purporting to be from the Portuguese Embassy were used in this image. Pic: Palo Alto

As NATO prepares for two new members to its alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the recent spying efforts are part of the NATO alliance’s preparations.

The alliance announced in June that Sweden and Finland would be invited to join.

NATO set out a plan for threats and challenges and promised to “defend all inches” of its territory. It also outlined a “deterrence & defence posture” that was based on a combination of “nuclear and conventional defense capabilities”.

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