Microsoft disrupts GRU attacks.
Microsoft says it's blocked GRU cyber operations directed against US, European, and Ukrainian targets. Redmond calls the group "Strontium," in its metallic naming convention for threat groups, but the threat actor is also known as APT28 and, of course, Fancy Bear. The disruption was a familiar (and entirely praiseworthy) takedown. Microsoft explained, "On Wednesday April 6th, we obtained a court order authorizing us to take control of seven internet domains Strontium was using to conduct these attacks. We have since re-directed these domains to a sinkhole controlled by Microsoft, enabling us to mitigate Strontium’s current use of these domains and enable victim notifications."
This particular GRU campaign isn't the only one Microsoft has observed during Russia's war against Ukraine. Microsoft characterized Strontium's use of its now sinkholed infrastructure as follows:
"Strontium was using this infrastructure to target Ukrainian institutions including media organizations. It was also targeting government institutions and think tanks in the United States and the European Union involved in foreign policy. We believe Strontium was attempting to establish long-term access to the systems of its targets, provide tactical support for the physical invasion and exfiltrate sensitive information. We have notified Ukraine’s government about the activity we detected and the action we’ve taken."