The fight against disinformation, phishing, and fake social media accounts is real. Big tech has affirmed that European political organizations must remain on guard against cyber threats ahead of the May parliamentary elections.

Microsoft recently disclosed that September through December of 2018 saw over 100 spearphishing attacks directed towards European think tanks and nongovernmental organizations. The attacks took the form of legitimate looking emails containing corrupt links. Clicking on a corrupt link enabled hackers to install malware, steal passwords, or to conduct other malicious activities.

While some targeted groups did not wish to reveal their identities, those who agreed to have their names released included The German Council on Foreign Relations, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the European offices of the Aspen Institute.

Attack perpetrators are believed to belong to a group called Fancy Bear, a Russian ring that maintains ties to Russian intelligence.

In explaining the motive behind the attacks, Ex-NATO Chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated, “It’s not an ideological war from Russia, it’s not a left-wing or right-wing oriented campaign, but the campaign aims at undermining trust and confidence and initiates chaos and instability.”

Candidates running in Europe’s parliamentary elections are invited to sign a pledge, promising to adhere to certain principles in order to counter foreign meddling. This initiative automatically weeds out any bad actors.

“We need to go further and faster before May,” said European Security Commissioner, Julian King. “We don’t want to wake up the day after the elections and realize we should have done more.”

Get the full story at: Bloomberg