Microsoft added to its victories against hackers best known for breaching the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Tuesday, when a court ordered the group often called Fancy Bear to stop attacking its customers.
The Eastern Virginia federal courts also ordered Fancy Bear to stop using Microsoft trademarks in phishing attempts and announced a multi-factor system to determine which web addresses U.S. registration companies will now be removing from the hackers' control.
Fancy Bear frequently uses websites and emails that appear to be operated by the software giant to trick users into revealing their passwords. Microsoft has won suits in the past for specific web addresses that violate trademarks, but the new ruling goes a step further, generally prohibiting attacks against any Microsoft client and generally prohibiting future use of its trademarks.
United States intelligence believes Fancy Bear, also known as APT 28, Pawn Storm or Strontium, is an arm of Russian intelligence. Microsoft chose to sue the hackers as John Does, serving paperwork to the email accounts used to register disputed websites rather than formally suing Russia.
Microsoft has won its suits by default since Fancy Bear has not made any court appearances.