Threat Watch

Russian Breach of EU Embassy in Moscow May Not Have Been Tied to Parliamentary Election

Russia: When news broke of a Russian intrusion into EU computer systems just weeks before a parliamentary election, many feared that the two were closely linked. This may, however, not have been the case.  While the breach was only detected in April of this year, the actual intrusion into the embassy’s systems took place in February of 2017.  According to a statement from EU officials, no classified systems were compromised.  At this time, they are unsure what information was accessed in the intrusion.  The investigation into the attack shows that the intention of the intrusion was clearly to gain access to the systems as quietly as possible while remaining undetected for an extended period of time.  Sources within the EU have stated that the attack was tied back to a known Russian sponsored actor but would not comment on which one.  They also refused to give details into how the intrusion took place but did say that so far only two computers appear to have been infected by the malware used by the attackers.

ANALYST NOTES

While it is certainly possible that information involving the 2019 elections was accessed during the attack, it was likely not the intended target. Had the Russian-backed hackers been truly focused on information pertaining to the election, the attack would have likely targeted a bigger office of the EU.