The US Justice Department said on Tuesday it had thwarted a long-running Russian cyber-espionage campaign that stole sensitive information from computer networks in dozens of countries, including the United States and other NATO members.
Prosecutors linked the spy operation to a unit of Russia’s Federal Security Service and accused the hackers of stealing documents from hundreds of computer systems belonging to NATO member governments, an anonymous journalist who works for “a ‘American news organization covering Russia’, and other selected targets of interest to the Kremlin.
“For 20 years, the FSB has relied on Snake to conduct cyber-espionage against the United States and our allies – and that ends today,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, chief of security, said in a statement. National Department of Justice.
Specific targets were not mentioned in the court documents, but US officials described this espionage campaign as “connected” after it managed to steal sensitive documents from NATO countries and also targeted US government agencies and others in the states United.
The Russian operation relied on malware known as Snake to infect computers. It was processed by hackers belonging, according to the US Department of Justice, to a well-known facility of the Security Service of the Russian Federation in Ryazan, Russia.