Cyber Experts Find Evidence Russia Military Intel Behind DNC Hack

Report: Russian Hackers Tracked Ukrainian Artillery Units
Russian hackers' malware used to track Ukrainian artillery units in Donbas, report says
Author

23 December, 2016

He added that Fancy Bear inserted its malware into the apps, which would reveal the location of the host Android phone and allowed Fancy Bear to snoop on infected devices.

In June, CrowdStrike first identified two separate hacker groups working for the Russian government that infiltrated the DNC network: Cozy Bear, which gained access last summer and had monitored the DNC's email and chat communications in summer 2015, and Fancy Bear, which broke into the DNC in April and stole opposition research on President-elect Donald Trump.

CrowdStrike's fingering of the GRU helps to deepen the public's understanding of how different arms of the Russian government are carrying out malicious and deeply troubling cyber acts in the United States. US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia's goal was to help President-elect Donald Trump win.

Both the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation believe that Fancy Bear and other Russian hackers were responsible for hacks during the election that were meant to help President-elect Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton, according to two senior government officials. It illustrates how hacking represents not just a tool used in propaganda operations but in traditional military engagements. The director of national intelligence and the homeland security secretary in October publicly blamed the Russian government for interfering in the US election, including through hacks of political organizations and targeting of state election systems.

Apple in talks with Government to manufacture iPhones in India
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The malware used to track Ukrainian artillery units was a variant of the kind used to hack into the Democratic National Committee, CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch said in an interview.

"The collection of such tactical artillery force positioning intelligence by FANCY BEAR further supports CrowdStrike's previous assessments that FANCY BEAR is likely affiliated with the Russian military intelligence (GRU), and works closely with Russian military forces operating in Eastern Ukraine and its border regions in Russia", CrowdStrike notes in their report. No evidence of the application has been observed on the Android app store, making it unlikely that the app was distributed via that platform.

"The capability of the malware includes gaining access to contacts, Short Message Service (SMS) text messages, call logs, and internet data, and FANCY BEAR would likely leverage this information for its intelligence and planning value", the report said.

The Russian agency, GRU, had successfully hacked an Android app created by the Ukrainian army to track their movements on the battlefield. Both grew out of the KGB. Successful deployment of the FANCY BEAR malware within this application may have facilitated reconnaissance against Ukrainian troops.


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