US and International Partners Disrupt Russia’s Cyber Espionage Group

( – The US Department of Justice said on Tuesday it managed to disrupt a Russian cyber spy organization that released the sophisticated “Snake” malware onto different computer networks all around the world. The department attributed this malware to Turla, which is a famous hacking unit that operates within the Kremlin’s Federal Security Service, which is known for being the successor of the Soviet-era KGB. This unit has been using Snake over the last two decades to steal classified data from thousands of computers in over 50 nations around the world, including NATO members.

In a statement, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the agency was able to dismantle this global network of “malware-infected computers” in a multilateral operation with some international partners. Garland also said these computers were used by the Kremlin to conduct cyber-espionage operations against some NATO allies.

The agency said it managed to remotely access these computers and eliminate the malware thanks to a search warrant it obtained from a United States court. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced it is planning to notify every single operator and owner of computers that were compromised by the Snake malware.

This is the latest case of a takedown from the Department of Justice against a cybercriminal organization. Back in January, the agency announced it managed to dismantle an international ransomware organization that was responsible for extorting over $100 million in payments from a group based in the United States and many other nations around the world. This ransomware organization, which was known as Hive, targeted nearly 2,000 victims worldwide, including crucial sectors like schools and hospitals.

Over the last few years, US geopolitical foes such as Russia or North Korea have been conducting these types of operations against US allies in Asia and Europe. Different reports have been pointing out that these cybercriminal operations skyrocketed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

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