Russian Pawn Storm APT group spied on punk band and others

Trend Micro says the Russian APT group, Pawn Storm, has been spying on domestic targets, including a punk rock band known as Pussy Riot. The group has also targeted a Russian software developer, politicians, artists and journalists in the country.

By studying phishing campaigns conducted by Pawn Storm, Trend Micro has come to its conclusion. The APT group spreads its malware via emails, which attempt to trick users into clicking on malicious files or links.

“Pawn Storm's targets have mostly been external political entities outside of Russia, but after our analysis we found that a great deal of targets can actually be found within the country's borders,” wrote Feike Hacquebord, a Trend Micro threat researcher, in a blog post on Tuesday.

They analysed 12,000 phishing attacks, which sought to steal login credentials from the past two years. The latest analysis showed two members of the band Pussy Riot have been targeted along with a popular Russian rock star.

Russia imprisoned three members of the band after they staged an impromptu performance in a Moscow church in early 2012. The group was highly critical of the Russian government.

Another instance showed that Pawn Storm targeted an active Russian military attache working in a NATO county, which “makes the spies'motivations even more intriguing,” Hacquebord wrote.

Locations of the top three most targeted people were Ukraine, followed by the US and the UK.