Sometime in 2014, Russian hackers breach State Department emails in what officials call the “worst ever” infiltration of a federal agency.
The intrusion happens before November, alongside hacks on the White House’s email system and databases of other federal agencies — including Congress. When the National Security Agency discovers the hack in November, they’re able to disconnect the attackers’ connection to their malware… but Russia immediately opens a new one.
“It was hand-to-hand combat,” said NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett, who described the incident at a recent cyber forum… Ledgett said the attackers’ thrust-and-parry moves inside the network while defenders were trying to kick them out amounted to “a new level of interaction between a cyber attacker and a defender.”The Washington Post
Private sector cybersecurity analysts give the Russian intelligence hackers a variety of names, including Cozy Bear, Fancy Bear, APT29, and The Dukes. The same group is responsible for cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Cybersecurity experts say the hackers show an unprecedented level of aggression. They predict that Russia will target the private sector in the next few years. They’re right.
In 2020, Russia’s SolarWinds hack breaches the networks, computers, and email accounts of hundreds of private companies and federal agencies. Like in 2014, the Kremlin steals thousands of State Department emails.
Photo: Markus Spiske