22 July 2015

Russian Hackers Are Now Going After Pentagon Computer Systems Using Sophisticated Stealth Phishing Campaign

Shane Harris
July 20, 2015

Russian Hackers Target The Pentagon

A sophisticated group of hackers, who earlier targeted the White House and State Department, have launched a stealth phishing campaign on the Pentagon.

Hackers linked to Russia who penetrated the computer networks of the White House and the State Department have turned their sights on the Pentagon, The Daily Beast has learned. And this time the hackers are using more sophisticated technologies that make them exceptionally hard to detect and that allow them to cover their tracks.

The Daily Beast obtained an email notice that the Defense Department sent Friday warning “at least five” DOD computer users have been targeted in the latest campaign. The notice linked these attacks to penetrations of unclassified networks at the White House and State Department that began last year and were reported in April. The notice doesn’t specify whether any information has been stolen, nor does it indicate which agencies the targeted victims work in.

But based on the technical details contained in the notice, the hackers are upping their game and employing even more advanced methods to trick users into downloading viruses onto their computers that can then siphon off files, messages, and other sensitive information.

“The sophistication of this attack far surpasses anything we have seen to date from any state actors,” said Michael Adams, a computer security expert who served more than two decades in the U.S. Special Operations Command. The Daily Beast shared the technical details of the malware with Adams, who said it employed tools that make the intruder extraordinarily difficult to detect.

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