Hackers linked to Russia’s government tried to target the websites of two right-wing U.S. think-tanks, suggesting they were broadening their attacks in the build-up to November elections, Microsoft said.
The software giant said it thwarted the attempts last week by taking control of sites that hackers had designed to mimic the pages of The International Republican Institute and The Hudson Institute. Users were redirected to fake addresses where they were asked to enter usernames and passwords.
The International Republican Institute has a roster of high-profile Republican board members, including Senator John McCain of Arizona who has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump’s interactions with Russia, and Moscow’s rights record.
The Hudson Institute, another conservative group, has hosted discussions on topics including cybersecurity, according to Microsoft. It has also examined the rise of kleptocracy, especially in Russia and has been critical of the Russian government, the New York Times reported.
Hudson President and CEO Kenneth Weinstein has been tweeting about the attack, noting that the think tank's Kleptocracy Initiative got them targeted by Russia's GRU:
Deeply proud of the work of my @HudsonInstitute colleagues, especially @KleptocracyIntv that got us targeted by the GRU. Proud as well to stand with our good friends @IRIglobal @DCTwining. https://t.co/bHHiztSiFI— Kenneth Weinstein (@KenWeinstein) August 21, 2018
Here is more on the attacks from Microsoft.
Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post about how a Mueller probe witness was linked to shady payments to the Hudson Institute.
Several Trump Administration staffers have come from Hudson.
The Chinese government reportedly crashed Hudson's website last year.