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Russian Group Believed Behind Organized Spy Operations

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A lengthy report issued by Internet security firm FireEye points a damning finger at a Russian group allegedly involved in cyber-spying for the past six years.

1245812-fireeyeThe group, referred to by the company as APT28, is believed to have been active for a number of years with specific goals in its Internet activity.

In particular, the group has been keeping track of areas of interest to Russia including the Caucasus region with a focus on Georgia and European governments, militaries and security organizations, reports Computer World.

“In this paper we discuss a threat group whose malware is already fairly well-known in the cybersecurity community. This group, unlike the China-based threat actors we track, does not appear to conduct widespread intellectual property theft for economic gain. Nor have we observed the group steal and profit from financial account information,” the paper states.

The report explains the group’s activity, rather, appears to be conducted by skilled developers and operators who are collecting information on issues including defense. It’s information, the report states, that would be valuable to a government agency rather than a simple group of hackers or unorganized Internet spies.

“We believe that this is an advanced persistent threat (APT) group engaged in espionage against political and military targets including the country of Georgia, Eastern European governments and militaries, and European security organizations since at least 2007,” the report explains. “They compile malware samples with Russian language settings during working hours consistent with the time zone of Russia’s major cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.”

The group appears to gain most of its information through spearphishing schemes where targeted computers receive e-mails that, when opened, result in malware infections.

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W. Brice McVicar

W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.