Tuesday , 17 July 2018
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Microsoft is bringing down ‘Fancy Bear’ hackers with IP lawyers

A TEAM OF Microsoft lawyers are using trademark law to sue Russian hacking group Fancy Bear off the web, for using domain names that infringe its copyright.

The Daily Beast reports that Fancy Bear (aka Pawn Strorm, Stronium and Sofacy) have cyber squatted a bunch of domains that look quite a lot like those of big companies – Microsoft being a prime example. They then use them to communicate with malware on infected computers.

Once Microsoft successfully wrestles control of the domains back, they get a view of all the servers controlled by their ursine advisories.

“In other words” explains Microsoft outside counsel Sten Jenson, “any time an infected computer attempts to contact a command-and-control server through one of the domains, it will instead be connected to a Microsoft-controlled, secure server.”

In total, Redmond has managed to ambulance-chase 70 domains back from Fancy Bear since the initiative began.

This is good news for anyone with any level of power. Fancy Bear is responsible for hacking everyone from NATO, The White House (Obama version) and countless media and military agencies. It has also been implicated in attacking the Clinton campaign last year as part of alleged interference from Russia to aid the election of Donald Trump. In fact, Fancy Bear were named in US papers before Russia itself.

This Friday, a judge in Alexandria, Virgina will hear a Microsoft motion for a final, default judgement with a permanent injunction against Fancy Bear.

Amongst the domains listed are livemicrosoft[.]net, rsshotmail[.]com and actblues[.]com, said to be the source of the hack on Mrs Clinton’s office.

It may seem crazy that the biggest weapon against state cyber attack is a lawyer. But remember, even Al Capone went down for tax evasion. µ

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