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World Hacking the hackers: Russian group hijacked Iranian spying operation, officials say

08:30  21 october  2019
08:30  21 october  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Russian hackers piggy-backed on an Iranian cyber-espionage operation to attack government and Paul Chichester, a senior official at Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency, said the operation shows Rather, the Russian hackers infiltrated the Iranian group ’s infrastructure in order to “masquerade as

Intelligence officials said there was no evidence of collusion between Turla and its Iranian victim, a hacking group known as “APT34” which cybersecurity researchers at firms including FireEye FEYE.O say works for the Iranian government. Rather, the Russian hackers infiltrated the Iranian group ’s

LONDON (Reuters) - Russian hackers piggy-backed on an Iranian cyber-espionage operation to attack government and industry organizations in dozens of countries while masquerading as attackers from the Islamic Republic, British and U.S. officials said on Monday.

a screen shot of a computer keyboard: FILE PHOTO: Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in Warsaw© Reuters/Kacper Pempel FILE PHOTO: Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in Warsaw

The Russian group, known as "Turla" and accused by Estonian and Czech authorities of operating on behalf of Russia's FSB security service, has used Iranian tools and computer infrastructure to successfully hack in to organizations in at least 20 different countries over the last 18 months, British security officials said.

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LONDON, Oct 21 - Russian hackers piggy-backed on an Iranian cyber-espionage operation to attack government and industry organizations in dozens of countries Intelligence officials said there was no evidence of collusion between Turla and its Iranian victim, a hacking group known as "APT34" which

Russian hackers used access to a rival group in Iran to hide attacks, say intelligence agencies. An Iranian hacking group was itself hacked by a Russian group to spy on multiple countries, UK and US intelligence agencies The Russians piggybacked on the Iranian group to target other victims.

The hacking campaign, the extent of which has not been previously revealed, was most active in the Middle East but also targeted organizations in Britain, they said.

Paul Chichester, a senior official at Britain's GCHQ intelligence agency, said the operation shows state-backed hackers are working in a "very crowded space" and developing new attacks and methods to better cover their tracks.

In a statement accompanying a joint advisory with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre said it wanted to raise industry awareness about the activity and make attacks more difficult for its adversaries.

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A Russian cyber espionage unit has hacked Iranian hackers to lead attacks in more than 35 countries, a joint UK and US investigation has revealed. The so-called Turla group , which has been linked with Russian intelligence, allegedly hijacked the tools of Oilrig, a group widely linked to the

the NSA's hackers and leaking their hacking tools onto the open web, Iran 's hackers are getting their own taste of that unnerving experience. For the last month, a mystery person or group has been targeting a top Iranian hacker team, dumping their secret data, tools, and even identities onto a

"We want to send a clear message that even when cyber actors seek to mask their identity, our capabilities will ultimately identify them," said Chichester, who serves as the NCSC's director of operations.

Officials in Russia and Iran did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent on Sunday. Moscow and Tehran have both repeatedly denied Western allegations over hacking.

GLOBAL HACKING CAMPAIGNS

Western officials rank Russia and Iran as two of the most dangerous threats in cyberspace, alongside China and North Korea, with both governments accused of conducting hacking operations against countries around the world.

Intelligence officials said there was no evidence of collusion between Turla and its Iranian victim, a hacking group known as "APT34" which cybersecurity researchers at firms including FireEye FEYE.O say works for the Iranian government.

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Сообщество разработчиков, IT-шников и предпринимателей. Мы рассказываем о хакатонах и бизнесе, делимся опытом, помогаем с поиском команды, бустим проекты от идеи до создания собственного стартапа.

Another clue: the Russian hacking groups tended to be active during working hours in the Moscow time zone. To their astonishment, Alperovitch said It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had

Rather, the Russian hackers infiltrated the Iranian group's infrastructure in order to "masquerade as an adversary which victims would expect to target them," said GCHQ's Chichester.

Turla's actions show the dangers of wrongly attributing cyberattacks, British officials said, but added that they were not aware of any public incidents that had been incorrectly blamed on Iran as a result of the Russian operation.

The United States and its Western allies have also used foreign cyberattacks to facilitate their own spying operations, a practice referred to as "fourth party collection," according to documents released by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and reporting by German magazine Der Spiegel.

GCHQ declined to comment on Western operations.

By gaining access to the Iranian infrastructure, Turla was able to use APT34's "command and control" systems to deploy its own malicious code, GCHQ and the NSA said in a public advisory.

The Russian group was also able to access the networks of existing APT34 victims and even access the code needed to build its own "Iranian" hacking tools.

((Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow and Babak Dehghanpisheh in Geneva; Editing by Frances Kerry))

Hackers hijacked the capital’s surveillance cameras days before Trump’s inauguration and said it was easy .
But they didn’t cover their tracksBut before those attacks, there was an attack on the nation’s capital, days before the presidential inauguration. An article from The Wall Street Journal details how hackers Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru seized control of Washington, DC’s surveillance cameras right before Trump’s inauguration. The piece is full of twists and turns, from the small-time beginnings of the hackers’ scamming careers to them eventually turning on each other.

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