Reuters is reporting that Russian hackers were able to spy on computers used by NATO, the European Union and the Ukraine, as well as private companies, thanks to a security flaw in Windows. Security firm iSight Partners claims that Russian hackers have been attempting to gain information relating to the Ukraine crisis.
However, in August it began exploiting a vulnerability in Windows — which Microsoft is now aware of — that allowed it to peer into computers used by NATO, the EU and various energy and telecommunications companies.
This is, apparently, the latest event in a five-year campaign by the Russian hacking group, which has been nicknamed the "Sandworm Team" due to references to "Dune" in its code. In the past, it's used phishing attacks and other holes to gain access to data.
iSight Partners isn't sure what data has been seen on NATO and EU computers this time round, nor whether the hackers are employed by the Russian government. It does, however, believe that this was definitely espionage rather than crime — largely due to the targets involved. [Reuters]