The discovery of Russia’s devastating SolarWinds spy campaign put the spotlight on the sophisticated supply chain hijacking techniques of Moscow’s foreign intelligence hackers. But it’s now apparent that, throughout that SolarWinds spying and its fallout, another group of Kremlin hackers has kept up up their usual daily grind, using basic but often effective techniques to pry open practically any vulnerable network they could find across the US and the global Internet.
On Thursday the NSA, the FBI, the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the UK’s National Cybersecurity Centre issued a joint advisory warning of hundreds of attempted brute-force hacker intrusions around the world, all carried out by Unit 26165 of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, also widely known as Fancy Bear or APT28. The hacking campaign has targeted a broad swath of organizations, including government and military agencies, defense contractors, political parties and consultancies, logistics companies, energy firms, universities, law firms, and media companies. In other words, practically every sector of interest on the Internet.