This Russian-backed cyber-gang launched cyber-attacks against the Pentagon, State Department and DNC, and is also believed to have targeted Russia-focused think-tanks based in Washington DC.

Last week Cozy Bear, or APT29, attacked ‘fewer than five organisations and 10 staffers,' all of which were researching Russia, in a highly targeted operation, Crowdstrike co-founder and chief technology officer (CTO) Dmitri Alperovitch told Defense One.

Alperovitch declined to disclose which think-tanks and researchers were hit, but did say that all of the organisations were promptly alerted to the attacks and the intruders were unable to exfiltrate any information.

The attackers may have been trying to steal information from officials who serve on the boards of the think tanks as many of them are former government officials who still advise current government officials, he said.