A hacker group linked to Moscow has been targeting anti-doping organizations across the world with substantial cyberattacks as anti-doping authorities have mulled new allegation against Russia.
Microsoft announced that it had tracked down the cyberattacks to a group in Russia called Strontium, also known as Fancy Bear/APT28, which were targeting the anti-doping agencies.
The attacks initially began on September 16 and targeted around 16 anti-doping and sporting agencies on three continents.
The cyberattacks used spearphishing and password spray which can exploit internet-connected devices and use both open source and custom malware.
Microsoft noted that not all of the attacks were successful and some attacks failed miserably.
WADA is presently reviewing the allegations that Russia manipulated knowledge from the national capital laboratory at the centre of the state-sponsored doping scandal that erupted previously 2016 Rio athletics. They also said that WADA may impose new sanctions on Russia by the end of this year.
The Group’s History
Fancy Bear has also attacked anti-doping agencies numerous other times in the Russian Doping Conspiracy between 2011-2015 which resulted in the country being banned from international competition. The same group was also linked to massive cyberattacks which took place during the 2016 US Presidential Elections.
The group has also carried out cyberattacks on European institutions ahead of European elections.
In October 2018, a US court indicted seven agents said to be from Russian military intelligence following a probe into the theft of data from anti-doping agencies in 2016 and 2018.