Tom Burt, Dina, Tom Bird discussed on All Things Considered


Each student follows a customized learning plan more at math. Maisie, um dot com. It's all things considered from NPR news. I'm Audie Cornish in Washington, and I'm Elsa Chang in Los Angeles. Russian hackers are at it again. The same group that hacked into software made by solar winds appears to have launched another supply chain hack. That's according to Microsoft. The company sent out an alert last night, saying hackers who appear to be linked to the Russian intelligence service broke into the email marketing company. Constant contact in order to impersonate the government agency. U S. A. I, D Dina Temple Raston of NPR's Investigations team has been tracking Russian hacking operations and joins us now. Hey, Dina. Good morning. Hi. Hi. So we should first know that both Microsoft and constant contact our financial supporters of NPR. Okay, so tell us more about what Microsoft discovered. What has this cyber crimes team that's watching for these kinds of intrusions all the time. This week, they found hackers in a bunch of international development in human rights organization systems. And as best as they can tell, the hackers broke into a company that was helping us a I D with marketing. And they use that hack to send phishing emails. You know, Microsoft told us it wasn't a huge hack, they said Maybe as many as 3000 accounts for either hacked or threatened, maybe as many as 150 institutions, but they think the actual numbers are probably a lot smaller than that. And these air phishing emails like we're talking about fake emails that looked like they were from USA Idea. Exactly so unsuspecting recipients would open these emails. They'd click on the links and by doing that the malware would be installed on their systems. And then the malware would basically give the hackers free access. They could steal data. It could infect other computers on these networks. They could read the emails. They could even plant other malware. So we talked to Tom Burt, who's Thieve Ice president of consumer security and trusted Microsoft. He was the guy was behind the advisory last night. And he said that the hackers actually kind of customized the malware, depending on who the target was. These guys are actually doing something. Ah, little different in even before the malware gets installed. They're doing some things to help them understand the environment that they are going to try to install the malware into so they can pick the right malware package. The reason that's important is because that's the kind of thing that nation state hackers do. It's not the kind of thing that common cyber criminals do. They just aren't that careful. Interesting. Okay, so Russian intelligence is definitely behind this hack what? We asked Tom Bird about that, too. And he says Right now, they think it was a subset of the solar winds Hacking group. Here's what he said. We can really be strong about our conclusion that this is a group that's operating from Russia. The association with the SVR comes from what the techniques we see them using and from the kinds of targets that they are targeting. So it's a collection of Circumstantial evidence. You might say that point in a consistent direction. So the group that was behind solar winds is known as a PT 29 or cozy Bear, and Microsoft said that they saw a lot of things that seem to overlap with Kofi's coat. Cozy bear, you see to say, but they don't want to say unequivocally that it is the exact same people. It might be a subset. What they're not equivocating about, though, is that this hack came from Russia. Okay. And is the technique here similar to what was found in the solar winds hack late last year? Yes, No, The solar winds attack was actually really complicated and stealthy, and Microsoft appears to have Seen this latest hack really quickly, and it's much simpler. I mean, the hackers aren't directly targeting companies or institutions They wanna hack. They're focusing on suppliers in this case, just like they were in solar winds. And they're finding a company further down the supply chain like a software company to hack into them Instead, the big question now is what the response is gonna be. President Biden has already warned that Russia shouldn't be doing these attacks and now they've done another one. So the question is whether or not this is going to force a response from the U. S. Yeah, All right. That is NPR investigations. Correspondent Dina Temple Raston. Thank you, Dina. You're welcome. Germany today apologized for genocide in this case the slaughter of tens of thousands of people in the African nation of Namibia. The killings came during the colonial era when German troops stamped out an uprising in Namibia by almost wiping out two tribes. And in France Earlier this week, the government admitted to bearing some responsibility for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Joining us to talk about these developments is NPR Africa correspondent Ada Peralta. Welcome back. Hey, thank you for having so to start. Why did Germany say now was the time for this acknowledgement? Yeah. I mean, look, this is a long time coming. Germany and the government of Namibia have been negotiating this for five years. But as you alluded to in your intro there is, you know, quite a bit of introspection happening on the continent of Africa and in Europe, you know, people and governments are trying to come to terms with the brutality. Of colonialism, You know, critics say that Germany and other European countries are looking at African countries as an emerging market, and that might be the reason for this apology. I want to come back to what amends might look like, but first a little bit of the history what happened during this uprising? When was this? Yes, As you mentioned. It happened more than 100 years ago from 1904 to 1908 and Germany was the colonial power and control of Namibia. And there was a rebellion by the Herrero and Anoma tribes and the German government reacted viciously. They took land and cattle and many hereto and Nama people were taken to concentration camps in the Kalahari Desert. On many of them died of starvation there. In the end, scholars estimate that about 80% of the hereto Anoma people were killed during this period. What's been the reaction to the government's plans to offer a billion dollars to help reconstruction and development in Namibia as part of this acknowledgement Tribal leaders, you know, say that this is a deal between two governments and that it doesn't really solve the big problems. They say that this will not lead to reconciliation. And the big sticking point is that they wanted individual reparations. You know, for example, they wanted the German government to buy land from the people of German descent, and then Return it to the descendants of the victims of this genocide. You know, Activists say that the headed O and the number of people are living in poor conditions that they live in crowded, informal settlements and a redistribution of land. They say that that could actually lead to a real reconciliation into a real change in the way that the Herero and the normal people are living. Before I let you go. Can we talk about France admitting to having responsibility in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. At that time, 800,000 people were killed. What's being said there? Yes. Oh, President. Macron stopped short of issuing an apology on behalf of France. But this is still big news. This has been a source of tension between Rwanda and France because President Paul Kagame, who halted the genocide, his forces stopped. The genocide always saw France is being complicity because they stood by the genocidal regime. And like other western countries, they failed to stop the slaughter of tootsies. But ah, lot like what is happening with Germany and Namibia. France ordered an investigation. They opened up their archives and, you know, they have officially admitted that they bore quote overwhelming responsibility for the genocide. And this week, the leaders of both countries stood side by side, and they said that this marked a new chapter in their relationship. That's NPR's Africa. Correspondent Ater Peralta. Thank you. Thank you, Audie. Progress on an independent commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

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