Microsoft: Russian hackers used Windows exploit

Microsoft blames hackers linked with Russian government for recent cyber attacks that exploited Windows flaw

Tech giant Microsoft today revealed that recent cyber attacks on US political targets were perpetrated by a Russian hacker group known as “Fancy Bear”, using an as-yet-unfixed Windows flaw (which we reported on yesterday).

Last month, the US government formally accused Russia of hacking the emails of US political figures. The emails were later published on Wikileaks and elsewhere on the Internet. Russia denies any involvement.

The cyber attacks took the form of “spear phishing”, where an attacker sends messages, typically via email, that exploit known information to trick victims into clicking on malicious links or opening bogus attachments.

The attacks made use of a flaw in Adobe’s Flash software as well as a Windows operating system vulnerability. Adobe released a patch for the flaw in their code yesterday. Microsoft’s patch for the Windows OS flaw will be released on November 8th – which just happens to be Election Day in the US.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s statement regarding the recent attacks? Should software companies release patches for security vulnerabilities more rapidly? Let us know your opinion in the Comments below!

Image Credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images


Jon Hunnings

(Step-)father & husband. I code directly on my #BlackBerry devices, in between blogs! Contact me via Twitter: @BrizBerryDevs or via email: