European leaders are on high alert for potential cyberattacks ahead of major elections, and Microsoft reports hackers are also targeting groups focused on democracy, electoral integrity and public policy.
Despite scrutiny of groups like Fancy Bear, the attacks have continued.
Tech companies have been accused of not doing enough to prevent hacking attacks and the spread of fake news, which some say influenced major elections like the 2016 US presidential vote and the Brexit referendum.
"The attacks we've seen recently, coupled with others we discussed a year ago, suggest an ongoing effort to target democratic organizations".
Microsoft on Wednesday said it will offer its cyber security service AccountGuard to 12 new markets in Europe including Germany, France and Spain, to close security gaps and protect customers in political space from hacking.
The service will also be available in Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Slovakia. But the biggest is the European Parliament election. It is free for Office 365 users, and Microsoft says it will roll out the service to other European countries in the coming months.
Microsoft said the source of the attacks have not been identified but is "confident" that many of those attacks, which took place between September and December past year, originated from a group called Strontium.
According to the Corporation, at this time, their targets have become 104 the account of staff of the German society for foreign policy and European branches of the aspen Institute and German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).
Microsoft has been tracking the increase in hacking attempts by nation states, including Russian actors, as part of its Defending Democracy Program, which it announced a year ago to provide protection to candidates, political parties and nongovernmental organisations working in the field of elections.
AccountGuard is available to EU member state based political campaigns and parties at the General, Local, Municipal, and European Parliament elections.