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US govt provides rewards for information on suspected GRU officers • The Register


Uncle Sam will dole out as much as $10 million for very important data on every of six Russian GRU officers linked to the Kremlin-backed Sandworm gang, who, in keeping with the Feds, have plotted to hold out damaging cyber-attacks in opposition to American essential infrastructure.

It’s hoped the cash, provided by way of the US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program, will result in the snaring of the next males stated to be Russian intelligence officers: Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko (Юрий Сергеевич Андриенко), Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov (Сергей Владимирович Детистов), Pavel Valeryevich Frolov (Павел Валерьевич Фролов), Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev (Анатолий Сергеевич Ковалев), Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko (Артем Валерьевич Очиченко), and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin (Петр Николаевич Плискин).

According to the US authorities, these are all members of the GRU’s Unit 74455, often known as Sandworm, they usually “deployed destructive malware and took other disruptive actions for the strategic benefit of Russia through unauthorized access to victim computers,” in accordance to the State Department.

All six officers have been charged with conspiracy to conduct pc fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, damaging protected computer systems, and aggravated identification theft offenses. And one of many six — Kovalev — was beforehand charged with meddling within the 2016 US elections.

Kovalev additionally developed spear-phishing strategies and messages that the Russian authorities used to focus on pc techniques of essential infrastructure services worldwide, in keeping with the State Department.

Meanwhile, Ochichenko carried out technical reconnaissance and helped perform these spear phishing campaigns in opposition to essential infrastructure house owners and operators, it’s claimed.

And the 4 different males — Pliskin, Detistov, Frolov, and Andrienko — allegedly developed elements of the NotPetya malware that Moscow utilized in 2017 to contaminate pc techniques of hospitals and significant infrastructure services worldwide. This outbreak value US entities alone about $1 billion in monetary losses, it’s stated.

Sandworm has been growing its nefarious cyber actions since Russia invaded Ukraine. In early April the US Justice Department revealed particulars of a court-authorized take-down of command-and-control techniques that the gang used to direct community units contaminated by its Cyclops Blink malware. This botnet software program nasty permits the techniques to be distant managed to hold out assaults on behalf of its masterminds — on this case, the GRU, a Russian navy international intelligence outfit.

Additionally, Cyclops Blink, in keeping with UK and US intel businesses, is Sandworm’s substitute for VPNFilter, which it used to focus on routers and storage units in 2018. 

Just final week, all Five Eyes nations’ cybersecurity businesses urged essential infrastructure to be prepared for assaults by crews backed by or sympathetic to the Kremlin. This joint alert named Sandstorm as one of many state-sponsored gangs and offered technical particulars in regards to the staff and its actions. ®



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