Microsoft warns Russian hackers could target the 2020 Olympics

Anti-doping authorities are experiencing cyber attacks from Strontium/Fancy Bear.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Microsoft has tracked "significant" cyber attacks against sports authorities and anti-doping agencies, the tech giant announced Monday. The group, called Strontium, Fancy Bear or APT28, could impact the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Microsoft warned.

The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center says 16 national and international organizations have been targeted across three continents since Sep. 16. All have been notified by Microsoft.

"Some of these attacks were successful, but the majority were not," it said.

Strontium/Fancy Bear "routinely" targets governments, militaries, law firms, human rights agencies, financial companies and universities globally, Microsoft said.

"Strontium's methods include spear-phishing, password spray, exploiting internet-connected devices and the use of both open-source and custom malware," the company said.

Microsoft recommended using two-factor authentication on all accounts, learning how to spot phishing attacks and enabling security alerts about suspicious links and files.

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