David E. Kramer, Sheera Frenkel
The Russian military intelligence unit that sought to influence the 2016 election appears to have a new target: conservative American think tanks that have broken with President Trump and are seeking continued sanctions against Moscow, exposing oligarchs or pressing for human rights.
The shift to attacking conservative think tanks underscores the Russian intelligence agency’s goals: to disrupt any institutions challenging Moscow and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
“There is an asymmetric risk here for democratic societies. The kind of attacks we see from authoritarian regimes are seeking to fracture and splinter groups in our society.”
Microsoft was surprised not that recent “spear phishing” attempts had occurred, but that they targeted traditional conservative think tanks. Those groups have been critical of Russia.
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