FBI disrupts Russian hacking tool used to steal information from foreign governments

By | May 9, 2023

CNN reports:

The FBI announced Tuesday that it has disrupted a network of hacked computers that Russian spies have used for years to steal sensitive information from at least 50 countries, including NATO governments.

The action appears to be a major blow to Russia’s domestic intelligence service, the FSB, which has allegedly used the sophisticated hacking tool to infiltrate US and Western diplomatic and military agencies for nearly two decades. It’s the latest move by the Justice Department to more aggressively target foreign spying and criminal rings using custom-built FBI tools.

The FBI used a court order on Monday to cut off the Russians access to the network of computers in the US that the hackers were using to spirit the stolen information around the world and back to Russia, US officials said. The FBI operation and US public advisories on the hacking tool would make it “difficult or and untenable” for the FSB to effectively use it again, a senior FBI official said in a call with reporters Tuesday.

FSB operatives, for example, used the hacking tool to “access and exfiltrate sensitive international relations documents, as well as other diplomatic communications” from an unnamed NATO country, the US and its “Five Eyes” allies said in an advisory on Tuesday. [Continue reading…]