U.S. Interrupts Russian Intelligence-Led Hacking Operation



The FBI, in collaboration with other nations, has disrupted a Russian hacking operation that compromised over 1,000 home and small-business internet routers globally. The Russian intelligence, working with cybercriminals, used a botnet to spy on military, security organizations, and private corporations in various countries including the U.S. Through a court order, the FBI covertly copied and erased stolen data and malware from the hacked routers, thus halting Russia’s ability to use the routers without affecting their functionality.

Disruption of Russian Hacking Operation by the F.B.I.

The F.B.I, in cooperation with international partners, put an end to a Russian cyber attack that compromised over 1,000 personal and small business internet routers globally, the Justice Department reported. Russian intelligence, along with cybercriminals, developed a botnet using malicious software to infiltrate private computers for espionage on military, security entities, and private corporations, particularly in the U.S.

Under a court order, the F.B.I. covertly duplicated and eliminated stolen information and malware from the affected routers. This move incapacitated Russia’s control over the routers without hampering their functionality, according to officials. Details of this operation were disclosed by F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, at an annual security conference in Munich.

Efforts Against Russian Cyber Campaigns

This disruption is a part of larger measures against Russian cyber activities targeting the U.S. and its allies, including Ukraine. This news follows the Biden administration informing Congress and European allies of Russia’s attempts to develop a space-based nuclear weapon to attack the U.S. satellite network. The White House and Congressional advocates have been urging House Republicans to maintain funding support for Ukraine’s military operations in its battle against Russia, citing it as crucial for American national security.

Speaking in Munich, Wray stated that Russia has been targeting critical infrastructure, such as underwater cables and industrial control systems globally. He pointed out a concerning trend of Russia surveying the U.S. energy sector, warning that hackers can quickly switch from information collection to attack. Wray also mentioned the growing cyber threat posed by China, highlighting that their hacking program surpasses that of all other major nations combined.

Increased Cyber Threats from China, Russia, and Iran

Last month, the F.B.I. disrupted a similar Chinese cyber campaign targeting crucial infrastructure by penetrating small businesses and local government networks. The F.B.I. and Justice Department have been warning about a surge in harmful activities against the U.S. by China, Iran, and Russia in recent times.

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