A report today revealed that Russian hackers exploited the bug in Microsoft Windows and other software in PCs used by NATO, the European Union, Ukraine and companies in the energy and telecommunications sectors. Cyber intelligence firm iSight Partners said that they used it for spying activities.
ISight suspects that they were seeking information on the Ukraine crisis, as well as diplomatic, energy and telecom issues, based on the targets and the contents of phishing emails used to infect computers with tainted files. The five-year cyber espionage campaign is still going on, according to iSight, which dubbed the operation “Sandworm Team” because it found references to the “Dune” science fiction series in the software code used by the hackers.
Actually, the hackers began only in August to exploit a vulnerability found in most versions of Windows and Microsoft was already informed about this bug. They are releasing an update today as part of the patch Tuesday updates to fix this issue.
The illegal activities started as early as 2009 and used a variety of techniques to gain access to delicate information. ISight said the Russian hackers started using what experts refer to as a zero-day attack on Windows only in the late summer. The technique refers to a previously unknown vulnerability.