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 Russian Hackers Spy on Ukraine, NATO, and EU

Russian hackers exploited a bug in Microsoft Windows and other software to spy on computers used by NATO, the European Union, Ukraine and companies in the energy and telecommunications sectors.

According to Censor.NET, Reuters reports about this, according to cyber intelligence firm iSight Partners.

ISight said it did not know what data had been found by the hackers, though it suspected they were seeking information on the Ukraine crisis, as well as diplomatic, energy and telecom issues. The five-year cyber espionage campaign is still going on, according to iSight. The operation used a variety of ways to attack the targets over the years, iSight said, adding that the hackers began only in August to exploit a vulnerability found in most versions of Windows.

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"Your targets almost certainly have to do with your interests. We see strong ties to Russian origins here," said John Hulquist, head of iSight's cyber espionage practice. The firm plans to release a 16-page report on Sandworm Team to its clients on Tuesday.

While technical indicators do not indicate whether the hackers have ties to the Russian government, Hulquist said he believed they were supported by a nation state because they were engaging in espionage, not cyber crime.

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For example, in December 2013, NATO was targeted with a malicious document on European diplomacy. Several regional governments in the Ukraine and an academic working on Russian issues in the United States were sent tainted emails that claimed to contain a list of pro-Russian extremist activities, according to iSight.

The firm said its researchers uncovered evidence that some Ukrainian government computer systems were infected, but they were unable to remotely confirm specific victims among those systems that had been targeted.

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