Microsoft’s security vice president Tom Burt said on an official company blog today that Increased Cyber Attacks have been identified in Europe, including those committed by a group related to alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election of 2016.
The company revealed a group of hackers, called Strontium, which has perpetrated cyberattacks with non-governmental organizations and think tanks in Europe.
According to US authorities, the “Strontrium group” is linked to a relevant Russian news agency, known as GRU, which has been involved in a process of interference in the US presidential elections in 2016, which is still under investigation.
“The attacks are not limited to political campaigns but also targeting think tanks and non-governmental organizations working on issues related to democracy, the integrity of elections or public policy, and often in contact with governments,” explained Tom Burt.
According to Microsoft VP, a series of attacks against employees of several think tanks in Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, Romania, and even Serbia were detected between September and December of 2018.
Microsoft says it “continues to investigate the origin of these attacks,” targeting institutions such as the German Marshall Fund, the Aspen Institute, and the German Policy Center.
These attacks show “it has never been more important to be vigilant to protect our democracies from foreign interference,” Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund, said in a statement.
“It is important that political and public attention is turned more to cybersecurity,” said a spokesman for the German Policy Center.
Cyber attacks come within months of the European Parliament elections in May and the presidential elections in Ukraine in March.