Baffling FBI silence about Russian phishing attacks on US officials

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WASHINGTON – The Associated Press revealed a baffling FBI silence about spear phishing attacks by Russian hackers on US officials like the former head of cybersecurity for the U.S. Air Force, an ex-director at the National Security Council and a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

All were caught up in Russia’s Military Intelligence (GRU) hacking team Fancy Bear‘s cyberespionage campaign.

None was warned by the FBI, let alone told to step through security awareness training so that they would be armed against email-based social engineering attacks.  Here’s an interesting statistic from the AP’s analysis. “Out of 312 U.S. military and government figures targeted by Fancy Bear, 131 clicked the links sent to them.” That is a whopping .38 CTR rate.

The FBI repeatedly failed to alert targets of the Russian hacking group also known as APT28, despite knowing for more than a year that their personal emails were in the Kremlin’s crosshairs.

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KnowBe4, the provider of the world’s most popular integrated new school security awareness training and simulated phishing platform, is used by more than 9,500 organizations worldwide. Founded by data and IT security expert Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 helps organizations address the human element of security by raising awareness of ransomware, CEO Fraud and other social engineering tactics through a new school approach to security awareness training. Kevin Mitnick, internationally recognized computer security expert and KnowBe4’s Chief Hacking Officer, helped design KnowBe4’s trainings based on his well-documented social engineering tactics. Thousands of organizations trust KnowBe4 to mobilize their end-users as the last line of corporate IT defense.

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