A Windows Flaw Let Russian Hackers Spy on NATO, EU and More

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Russian hackers were able to spy on computers used by NATO, the European Union and the Ukraine, as well as private companies, thanks to a security flaw in Windows, reports Reuters.

Security firm iSight Partners claims that Russian hackers have been attempting to gain information relating to the Ukraine crisis. However, in August it began exploiting a vulnerability in Windows, that Microsoft is now aware of, which allowed it to peer into computers used by NATO, the EU and various energy and telecommunications companies.

This is, apparently, the latest event in a five-year campaign by the Russian hacking group (nicknamed the "Sandworm Team" due to references to "Dune" in its code). In the past, it's used phishing attacks and other holes to gain access to data.

iSight Partners isn't sure what data has been seen on NATO and EU computers this time, nor whether the hackers are employed by the Russian government. It does, however, believe that this was definitely espionage rather than crime, largely due to the targets involved. [Reuters]