24 Oct 2016

Cyberthief-scAs we all know, WikiLeaks has been publishing embarrassing emails from the inner circle of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, with the most recent coming from the personal email of John Podesta. The US government and security firms all believe it was the work of hackers acting on the orders of the Russian government, but the hack all started with an email in Podesta’s inbox that appeared to be from Google. It was not. After he opened it and clicked on a link it contained, the hackers had complete access to his account.

The hackers, typically referred to as Fancy Bear, left a pretty obvious trail In the Podesta leak and the one published by DC Leaks of Colin Powell’s email that points to the Russian Government. They all were done using fake Gmail messages that contained a malicious link created with a Bitly account controlled by Fancy Bear.

The URL that was shortened by Bitly appeared to be a Google link but hidden inside of it was a series of 30 characters that looked like gibberish. In reality, that gibberish was actually an encoded version of John Podesta’s email address. Between October and May of 2016, Fancy Bear sent out 9,000 similar emails to 4,000 people, all with similar codes tailored to the individual, presumably to keep track of all the different links. Unfortunately for Fancy Bear, he forgot to set his Bitly account to private.

The security firm SecureWorks was keeping tabs on command and control domains used by Fancy Bear which led them to the Bitly accounts and the thousands of URLs they used in their attacks. Thanks to the unsecured Bitly account, SecureWorks was able to see 213 links targeting 108 different email addresses within the Clinton campaign.

That mistake also connected Fancy Bear to other hacks, including the one on Colin Powell. The attacks have not only targeted the US political system, but also Eastern European journalists. One such group of journalists were from Balligcat and had found evidence that Russian-backed rebels had shot down the Malaysian Airlines flight over the Ukraine in 2014. Each of these attacks contained the same hallmarks of using emails appearing to come from Google and having a link with the victim’s email address encoded in it.

All of this clearly points to these attacks being carried out by Fancy Bear, who are known to work for the Russian government. This ultimately this lead to the US government accusing the Russians of being behind these hacks among others. With all the evidence, at this point anyone who still denying Russia’s involvement is for whatever reason just being willfully ignorant.

Schedule an Appointment

Schedule an Appointment

    Our clients are awesome!

    Based on 55 reviews.
    Jeremy Richards
    Jeremy Richards
    2020-03-13
    Petronella provides great advanced digital marketing and automation solutions for my business!
    Kate Swenson
    Kate Swenson
    2020-02-14
    Highly recommended for CMMC certification assistance! Excellent and affordable options for secure data hosting on local infrastructure. 5 stars!
    Tom Matzen
    Tom Matzen
    2020-01-25
    Petronella Technology Group helped us setup our sales and marketing automation, cybersecurity and compliance for our new Blockchain startup. Great to work with! Craig in particular really knows his stuff, can translate into non-tech speak, and has wisdom beyond his years. Highly recommend them.
    Justin Summers
    Justin Summers
    2020-01-14
    Craig is awesome! He is very professional and efficient with his work. I would definitely recommend Petronella Technology to anyone who needs state of the art service.
    Blake Rea
    Blake Rea
    2020-01-14
    Craig is an expert in his field. Impressed by his knowledge, A true pioneer in Cybersecurity. My business is safer thanks to Petronella Tech!
    Robert Friedman
    Robert Friedman
    2020-01-10
    For the last five years Craig has been the Contributing Editor for Cybersecurity for NC Triangle Attorney Law Magazine which I publish. His base of knowledge is always leading edge, pragmatic and early to understand for our readers who are not techies. He is patient and easy to work with.
    Tammy Everett
    Tammy Everett
    2020-01-10
    Craig Petronella, CEO of Petronella Technology Group provided the members of the Defense Alliance of North Carolina expert advice on cybersecurity and NIST compliance. Eye opening experience! Thanks so much!
    Julie Brown
    Julie Brown
    2020-01-09
    Craig and the Petronella Technology Group, Inc. team made HIPAA compliance for my small practice so simple and easy! They helped me with all of my HIPAA training, HIPAA Security Risk Assessment, Penetration Test, and HIPAA secure hosting so I can rest easy.
    Pivot Point
    Pivot Point
    2020-01-03
    Petronella Technology Group helped us with our marketing strategy for our new web startup. Awesome experience!!!!
    Richard Brunet
    Richard Brunet
    2019-12-30

    SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

    Make It Happen Now

    CLIENT SUPPORT

    Don't Feel Stranded

    CONSULTATION

    Get Best Advice

    PAYMENTS

    Make A Payment

    Top