Moscow hackers target US Senate, report says

Moscow hackers target US Senate, report says

Moscow hackers target US Senate, report says

"That is exactly the way they attacked the Macron campaign in France", he said.

"The real ADFS server of the U.S. Senate is not reachable on the open internet, however phishing of users' credentials on an ADFS server that is behind a firewall still makes sense", the report says.

The revelation suggests the group, often nicknamed Fancy Bear, whose hacking campaign scrambled the 2016 U.S. electoral contest, is trying to gather the emails of America's political elite.

"They're still very active - in making preparations at least - to influence public opinion again, " Hacquebord told the Associated Press.

Hacquebord said he based his report on the discovery of the websites created to look like the Senate's e-mail system.

Known by pseudonyms including Fancy Bear and Pawn Storm, the hackers began registering bogus websites in June 2017 mimicking the U.S. Senate's Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), the chamber's internal email system, as part of a phishing expedition meant to trick targets into disclosing their legitimate log-in credentials, according to Trend Micro, a Tokyo-based cybersecurity firm.

"By looking at the digital fingerprints of these phishing sites and comparing them with a large data set that spans nearly five years, we can uniquely relate them to a couple of Pawn Storm incidents in 2016 and 2017", wrote Mr. Hacquebord.

The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, which is responsible for the upper house's security, declined to comment, but Nebraska Sen.

"Last year, FBI Director [James] Comey said he was certain that Senate IT systems have been targeted and the Attorney General said we weren't doing enough to prepare for Russia's next attack", Sasse said in a statement on Friday, referencing Comey's testimony in May 2017, before President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE removed him as FBI director.

Moscow hackers target US Senate, report says

Trend Micro previously drew worldwide attention when it used an identical technique to uncover a set of decoy websites apparently set up to harvest emails from the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign in April 2017. The private emails from several Macron staffers were published during the final days of the race.

Hacquebord said the rogue Senate sites _ which were set up in June and September of 2017 - matched their French counterparts. But Tend Micro, which has followed Fancy Bear for years, said there could be no doubt. Like many cybersecurity companies, Trend Micro refuses to speculate publicly on who is behind such groups, referring to Pawn Storm only as having "Russia-related interests".

If Fancy Bear has targeted the Senate over the past few months, it would not be the first time.

A months-long Associated Press investigation into the group, drawing on a vast database of targets supplied by the cybersecurity firm Secureworks, has also determined that the group is closely attuned to the Kremlin's objectives.

Fancy Bear also appears to have an interest in Olympics e-mails.

With the Winter Games only a month away, Trend Micro says the hackers began in the second half of 2017 targeting several International Olympic Wintersport Federations, such as the European Ice Hockey Federation, the International Ski Federation, the International Biathlon Union, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation and the International Luge Federation.

The targeting of Olympic groups comes as relations between Russian Federation and the International Olympic Committee are particularly fraught.

It said the hackers have a "large tool set full of social engineering tricks, malware and exploits" and doesn't need much innovation to go after its targets. Russian athletes are being forced to compete under a neutral flag in the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics following an extraordinary doping scandal that has seen 43 athletes and several Russian officials banned for life.