Russian hackers tied to 2016 elections targeting 2020 race, Microsoft says

Kremlin-linked hackers who attacked the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election once again are targeting people and organizations linked to the upcoming presidential election, Microsoft said in a blog post on Thursday.

A group code-named Strontium, “operating from Russia, has attacked more than 200 organizations including political campaigns, advocacy groups, parties and political consultants” in the past few weeks, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for customer security and trust, said on the blog.

“Similar to what we observed in 2016, Strontium is launching campaigns to harvest people’s log-in credentials or compromise their accounts, presumably to aid in intelligence gathering or disruption operations,” Burt said.

For the past six months the attackers have targeted U.S.-based political consultants working with both Democrats and Republicans, think tanks including the U.S. German Marshall Fund, and national and state political entities, he said.

The group also targeted companies in entertainment, hospitality, manufacturing, financial services and physical security industries, Microsoft said.

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