Russian hackers are said to have attacked US nuclear laboratories

Russian hackers are said to have attacked US nuclear laboratories

Russian hackers are said to have attacked US nuclear laboratories

According to Reuters, Russian hackers attacked three US nuclear research laboratories in a phishing scam last year(Opens in a new window).

A hacking team called Cold River reportedly created fake login pages for the Brookhaven, Argonne, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and emailed them to nuclear scientists in hopes that they would reveal their passwords.

Adam Myers, senior vice president of intelligence at cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, told Reuters that Cold River is “involved in directly supporting the Kremlin’s intelligence operations.”

The hacking attempts came as UN experts entered Russian-controlled Ukraine to inspect Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Reuters reports.

In its attempt to convince people to enter usernames and passwords, Cold River used email accounts to register domain names that resembled legitimate services from Google and Microsoft, security researchers told Reuters.

Cold River has reportedly been operational since at least 2015. Email accounts used in the hacker group’s phishing operations between 2015 and 2020 have been traced to an IT worker in the Russian city of Syktyvkar, Reuters reported.

While Moscow consistently denies that it conducts hacking operations and there is no confirmation from Russia that these attacks are sponsored, it is noteworthy that Cold River has only targeted countries that are critics and enemies of Moscow. And Cold River’s hacking campaigns have intensified since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to cybersecurity researchers who spoke to Reuters.

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In May 2022, Reuters reports, Cold River broke into and leaked emails(Opens in a new window) which belonged to the former head of the British secret service MI6.

And in another operation(Opens in a new window)the hacking group registered domain names impersonating at least three European NGOs investigating war crimes.

These attacks reportedly occurred shortly before and after the launch of an October 18 investigation by an independent UN commission that found Russian forces to be responsible for the “vast majority” of human rights abuses in the first weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine .

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