Massive 7.5TB breach reveals secret Russian IT projects

Hacktivists seize a trove of FSB data after breaching the networks of a major contractor

A computer with data overlaid onto the Russian flag

Hackers breached the server of a major contractor working on behalf of the Russian intelligence service before stealing 7.5TB of sensitive data and sharing this freely with other hackers and journalists.

Attackers infiltrated the company network of SyTech on 13 July, according to BBC Russia, and began a process of copying data while deleting masses of it. Much of this included detailed information about sensitive government IT projects commissioned by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB).

Advertisement - Article continues below

There at least 20 non-public SyTech projects detailed in the trove of documents stolen, stretching back to 2009. These include Nautilus-S, in which Tor traffic is de-anonymised with the help of rogue Tor servers, and Mentor, which involves monitoring and searching emails that sit on servers belonging to Russian organisations.

Nadezhda, meanwhile, is dedicated to creating a programme that accumulates and visualises information about how the Russian portion of the internet is connected to the wider global web.

Following the hack, the homepage of the company's website displayed a comical yoba-face' image which the hackers installed to demonstrate they had breached SyTech's systems. Hacktivists and cyber criminals often leave such images as a calling card following a successful attack on an organisation's networks.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The attackers published screenshots of the stolen data on a Twitter account and shared the multi-TB trove of information with Digital Revolution, a similar group that breached another FSB contractor last year.

Advertisement - Article continues below

This second hacking collective describe themselves as "digital revolutionaries" and have a track record of infiltrating official systems in an effort to undermine the government. After being handed the most recent collection of documents, for example, Digital Revolution shared the entire trove with journalists.

Since activity peaked around a decade ago with organisations like Anonymous, hacktivism has not been as widespread a tool for political and social influence as it once was, in the West particularly.

The Syrian Electronic Army, for example, is among the most prominent groups in recent history and was formed in 2011 as a pro-Assad hacking group that launches cyber attacks against political opposition groups and media organisations.

The Russian state itself has been at the centre of several hacking storms, both as aggravator and victim, with the US, for example, accusing intelligence services of orchestrating hacks against the democratic process.

In May, meanwhile, sensitive data belonging to 2.25 million Russian citizens, including passport information, was found to be exposed online through misconfigured government servers. These included the details of high-ranking government officials.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/ransomware/356292/university-of-california-gets-fleeced-by-hackers-for-114-million
ransomware

University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/356289/australia-announces-135b-investment-in-cybersecurity
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/cloud-security/356288/csa-and-issa-form-cybersecurity-partnership
cloud security

CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/ethical-hacking/356252/poorly-secured-banking-apps-lead-to-cyber-threats
ethical hacking

Mobile banking apps are exposing user data to attackers

26 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/google-android/356373/over-2-dozen-additional-android-apps-found-stealing-user-data
Google Android

Over two dozen Android apps found stealing user data

7 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/356260/the-road-to-recovery
Sponsored

The road to recovery

30 Jun 2020