Russian hackers with ties to the government have been using day zero exploits on Adobe Flash and Windows to gain access to crucial information on other governments, including the US, and potentially sending the information back to the Kremlin.
In a report from security firm FireEye—the same team that worked on the Sony Pictures hacking scandal—it claims Russian hacking group APT28 managed to get inside access to military, government and security systems controlled by the US and steal information, including diplomat location, notes and conversations, in an effort to help the Russian government.
It is not the first time Russia has been accused of state sponsored hacking attempts on the US, previous attacks have been focused on infrastructure, private sector and military. Obviously before the internet Russia had spies inside many of the top facilities in the US, in an effort to steal information to push Russia forward in the Cold War.
Adobe Flash has already fixed the issue allowing APT28 to hack into systems, but Microsoft is still working on its Windows fix. FireEye seems confident the security loophole on Windows is much less disastrous, due to the powers needed to create the loophole in the first place.
APT28 has been the hacking wing of the Russian government since 2007, collecting information on Barack Obama’s schedule and other information regarding movement of executives in The White House.
FireEye claims these are no ordinary hackers and have specific talents similar to those of state sponsored hackers in Iran, China and the US. It is another show of force by Russia on the internet, showing China is not the only country trying to steal information and win the cyber war against the US.
Even though Russia has denied all accusations that they have a hacking wing inside the government, the proficiency of the hacking collective means someone is funding them a large amount of money and information, in order to get inside the US government systems.
Whether that is the Russian government or some underground terrorist group, we are still unsure. Russia is normally quite loose when it comes to hackers, unless they are attacking Russian private or public sector organisations.