US Court Allows Microsoft to Seize Websites Over Claims of Russian Hacking

Russia says unclear about allegations lack of evidence

The Kremlin has issued a statement claiming it does not fully understand Microsoft’s claims of having “foiled” their hacking attacks, saying they aren’t clear who was supposed to have been conducting this attack, or what proof there was any such thing exists.

Microsoft announced Monday that they’d obtained a court order allowing them to seize six domain names which they believe were secretly run by a Russian hacking group called Fancy Bear, and which were meant to hack the International Republican Institution and the Hudson Institute.

The sites in question appear to have been set up to try to simulate the authentic versions of those think tanks’ websites, in hopes of trying to get actual members confused and accidentally giving them login credentials.

There is no evidence that any successful hacking ever happened this way, as these appear to be random phishing attempts, the types which could be set up by almost anybody, and would in no way be Russian government-specific.

Microsoft appears to be using these allegations to publicize their own “Defending Democracy” program, which offers services to political campaigns and certain NGOs. Officials who were accusing Russia of plotting to hack the mid-term elections suggest the Microsoft incident proves this is happening, but there does appear to be no evidence that what little was attempted here was Russia, nor that anything was successfully hacked.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of