Russian hackers launch multiple attacks against US election

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Russian hackers are targeting US server infrastructure with brute-force attacks ahead of the 2020 election according to new research from the VPN (opens in new tab) company NordVPN (opens in new tab).

Researchers commissioned by the firm have observed a huge increase in the number of brute-force attacks (opens in new tab) against servers in the US which have spiked by 98 percent.

The findings themselves come from a “Cyber Honeypot” or a cluster of servers set up to mimic real-life servers and trick cybercriminals into attacking them. Over the course of two months, the Cyber Honeypot was attacked on a daily basis but recent attacks stood out due to the number of attackers attempting to break into its servers.

Digital privacy expert at NordVPN Daniel Markuson provided further insight on the recent uptick in attacks, saying:

“Attacks targeted at SSH and Telnet honeypot designed to log brute force attacks. Attempts to break in skyrocketed, reaching a 98% uplift overnight. What is interesting, that half of all attacks came from a single network without efforts to disguise that it originated from Petersburg, Russia.”

Increase in cyberattacks

According to Markuson, the Russian hackers behind this latest series of attacks may have been trying to take advantage of the fact that the public is too busy monitoring the results of the US 2020 election instead of their own cybersecurity.

Security researchers use honeypots (opens in new tab) as a means to understand what types of attacks are trending and what types of malware (opens in new tab), viruses and attacks are currently being used by cybercriminals. Based on the information gleaned from honeypots, businesses and cybersecurity experts can better protect themselves against the latest cyber threats.

Markuson also urged both businesses and consumers to take a more proactive stance when it comes to their own cybersecurity posture, saying:

“Members of the public, corporations, and governments alike, must develop a good habit of taking cyber protection measures by default. Websites should be using HTTPS protocols by default; databases should not be left unprotected; and individuals should be strongly advised to surf the net using a VPN to protect themselves from eavesdropping and attacks.”

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.