Cyberwarfare by Russia

Expert Voices

Growing Russian interference calls for coordinated response

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with the newly elected regional leaders at the Moscow Kremlin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/TASS via Getty Images

On Dec. 1, Defense Secretary Mattis became the first Trump administration official to publicly confirm that the Kremlin continues to interfere in U.S. democracy, including in last month's midterm elections. Mattis has described Putin as a “slow learner,” but a new tracking project shows him to be an operator who has spent nearly two decades sharpening and deploying a set of asymmetric tools across the Atlantic.

The big picture: Election interference is just one part of Russia’s strategy. The Alliance for Securing Democracy has catalogued Kremlin fingerprints on over 400 incidents of interference in 42 countries. Beyond bots and troll farms, the toolbox includes information operations, cyberattacks, political subversion, strategic economic coercion and malign finance.

New malware from Russia's Fancy Bear uses email to phone home

Researchers at Palo Alto Networks discovered new malware being used by the Kremlin-backed hacking group Fancy Bear.

Why it matters: The "cannon" malware uses email to communicate with its command and control server. That's not common in malware right now, says Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat Intelligence for the Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 research team, and doesn't appear to be something Fancy Bear has ever done before.

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