Intelligence agencies from the United State and Britain say, hundreds of cyber attacks across the globe, can be traced back to a Russian military unit known as “Military Unit 26165” as well as the 85th major special center of Russia’s GRU.
Their claims are supported by many government agencies around the world, according to a joint document that was released earlier this week. Pointing the finger at Russia are several intelligence agencies including the US Internal Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Infrastructure and Cyber Security Agency (CISA), and the UK National Cybersecurity Center.
“From the beginning of 2019 to the beginning of 2021 <…> GRU conducted widespread attempts at access against hundreds of public and private targets around the world,” reads a text of the join document.
“The malicious activity in the cybersphere of the 85th main special center of the GRU was previously attributed to the private sector, using the names [hacker groups] Fancy Bear, APT28, Strontium and many others”.
According to the intelligence agencies, tools used by Russian hackers which form part of their signature, are known to them, and they expect Russia’s campaign of cyber attacks to continue in the future.
The issue of Russian cyberattacks on US assets have been a hot topic and have been a problem for the White House. Last month, the White House had announced, it would launch anti-hacking operations against, mainly, Russian hackers.
Washington believes recent cyberattacks in the US, including the recent ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline which shutdown the supply of fuel to the entire US East Coast was the handiwork of Russian hackers. The hack caused billions of dollars in economic damages. Hackers had also targeted US meat processing company JBS a few days later.
Washington has blamed DarkSide, a hacking group, for the pipeline attack.
Incidentally, evidence pointing the hacker group’s involvement in the attack have not been publicly disclosed. It is believed that the hacker group is operating under the influence of the Kremlin and is based out of either Russian territory or in an Eastern European country.
According to DarkSide, it does not operate under the influence of any government. It claims to be an independent hacker group.