Microsoft this week commandeered seven domains being used by the Russian GRU nation-state hacking team known as Fancy Bear or Strontium to thwart the advanced persistent threat (APT) group from further targeting Ukrainian entities.
The sinkhole operation disrupted Fancy Bear's infrastructure that Microsoft had seen attacking media organizations in Ukraine, as well as government agencies and think tanks in the US and Europe.
"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," Microsoft corporate VP Tom Burt said in a blog post yesterday announcing the operation.
Microsoft has long had its sights on Strontium/Fancy Bear's network infrastructure. The company has used legal means 15 times to wrest away control of over 100 domains used by the Russian hackers.