Russian Military Intelligence Indicted Global Cyberattack

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Six Russian cyber military officers known as the Sandworm Team has been charged with hacking schemes against purported Kremlin enemies all over the world. Findings from the investigations led by cyber security experts show that these hackers were allegedly responsible for hacking the 2016 US Presidential campaign, France’s 2017 Presidential elections, and the UK investigation on Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury in 2018, among others. The Sandworm hackers were charged on Monday with seven counts of conspiracy to conduct computer fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, damaging protected computers, and aggravated identity theft.

The Guardian: US indictment of operatives, accused of launching several attacks, gives a detailed account of how they went about their business

Screenshot from The Guardian

According to The Guardian, the Sandworm hackers, also known as unit 74455 and “the main centre for special technologies”, launched attacks on the Ukrainian power system, Emmanuel Macron’s presidential bid in France in 2017, the South Korean Olympics in 2018 and the UK investigation into the 2018 Russian nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

UK and US authorities have accused the unit of planning a cyberattack on Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

The US indictment of six Sandworm operatives, all GRU military intelligence officers, gives a detailed account of how they went about their business.

The indictment is based on lengthy investigations by FBI analysts in cooperation with Google, Cisco, Facebook and Twitter as well with allied intelligence agencies, most importantly the from the Five Eyes alliance, of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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CNN: The alleged cyberattackers hacked into software using destructive malware to black out thousands of computers and cause nearly $1 billion in losses

Screenshot from CNN

CNN disclosed that according to the Justice Department, the alleged cyber attackers hacked into software using destructive malware to black out thousands of computers and cause nearly $1 billion in losses, and were intended to support Russian government efforts to undermine, retaliate against, or otherwise destabilize worldwide computer networks.

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a federal arrest warrant for each of these defendants upon the grand jury’s return of the indictment.

One of the pieces of malware developed by the hackers took down the medical systems of Heritage Valley in Pennsylvania, prosecutors said.

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