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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