According to iSight Partners, the cyber intelligence firm, it has been discovered that hackers in Russia exploited software including Microsoft Windows (NASDAQ:MSFT) in order to spy on systems used by the European Union, NATO, companies in the telecommunications plus energy sectors and Ukraine.
The cyber intelligence company stated that it had no clue as to what data was found by the hackers. However they did have their suspicions that the hackers were trying to get information regarding the Ukraine crisis. iSight also suspects that they were after telecom and energy issues as well as diplomatic information.
iSight has named the five-year operation in the cyber field as “Sandworm Team”. A major discovery was made which caused the firm to come up with this name. The reason was that references upon the “Dune” series of science fiction were found inside the coded software that the Russian hackers used.
iSight reported that a number of ways were used to attack and hackers started in August thus exploiting vulnerability in different versions of Microsoft Windows (NASDAQ:MSFT). The cyber security firm told Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) about the problem at hand regarding the bug and refrained from making the problem public so that the firm had time to alter it.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) recently stated that it aims to handle the situation by launching an automatic update to the versions of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that were affected. The Russian government didn’t give an immediate response and neither did NATO, Ukraine or the EU. Researchers stated that the reason why they thought hackers were Russian was because of the target choices as well as language clues.
The head of iSight’s investigation, John Hulquist stated that targets are set according to individual interests however, nothing technical claims that the Russian government was involved. Hulquist has his suspicions that they are supported in this by a nation state as no cyber crime was committed and it involved espionage only.
Not too long ago, in December 2013, a malicious document hit NATO concerning the European Diplomacy. Emails were sent to regional governments inside Ukraine as well as academic working regarding Russian issues present in the U.S. These tainted emails claimed to have a list of extremist activities in Russia. iSight stated that its researchers found evidence against Ukrainian computer systems in the government which were infected however no victims could be claimed among those that the system targeted.
Many researchers think that due to the sophistication of the malicious software used, the targeted systems are still infected. iSight stated that victims of the Sandworm Team were alerted, however the cyber security firm didn’t elaborate on the matter. Research at iSight is recorded as the latest in a number of security reports regarding the private sector which link the capital of Russia, Moscow, to sophisticated cyber investigations.
The firm is working head on regarding the matter and looking for any loopholes that the hackers missed in order to finally take action against those involved in the unauthorized break ins through the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) bug.