US disrupts Russian cyber espionage campaign targeting dozens of countries

The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it had disrupted a Russian cyber espionage group that allegedly released a sophisticated malware, known as Snake, onto computer networks across the world.

The agency attributed the malware to Turla, a hacking unit within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). For nearly 20 years, Turla used the malware to steal sensitive information from hundreds of computers in at least 50 countries, including members of NATO.

“The Justice Department, together with our international partners, has dismantled a global network of malware-infected computers that the Russian government has used for nearly two decades to conduct cyber-espionage, including against our NATO allies,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement

The Justice Department said it obtained a search warrant from a U.S. court authorizing it to remotely access the compromised computers and disable the malware.

The FBI said it plans to notify all owners and operators of computers that were compromised. 

This is the latest of DOJ takedown of a cybercrime group. 

In January, the department announced it had dismantled an international ransomware group responsible for extorting more than $100 million in payments from organizations based in the U.S. and around the world.

The ransomware group, known as Hive, had targeted more than 1,500 victims around the world, including critical sectors such as hospitals and schools.

Tags cybersecurity DOJ FBI Merrick Garland Merrick Garland NATO russia

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