FBI hacks US computers to ‘fix Russian malware’ — RT World News
The compromised network was used to illegally transfer stolen information
The US federal government says it has successfully shut down a global computer network infected by two decades of “Russian” malware. The warrant allowed FBI agents to remotely access infected computers, which officials described as “Innovative use of legal authorities”.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice released details of Operation MEDUSA, a joint effort by several U.S. and foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies to target a hacker group known as Turla.
US officials said the group had links to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and deployed a suite of sophisticated malware known as Snake. The compromised computers were used by hackers to copy stolen files and use other cyber weapons, Washington said.
“The Department of Justice, along with our international partners, has dismantled a global network of computers infected with malware that the Russian government has used for nearly two decades of cyber espionage, including against our NATO allies.” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said.
Operation MEDUSA allowed the FBI to remotely access infected computers, causing the Viper to self-destruct. The violation was authorized and constituted by the Eastern District of New York “innovative use of legal authorities”, Matthew G., who heads the DoJ’s national security division. According to Olsen.
The US government did not say how many American computers were accessed, but the owners of the operation were notified.
Officials said that the FSB branch operates from the city of Ryazan and that the network under its control extends to 50 countries. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said human error by the Russians allowed US cybersecurity experts to identify the malware and develop a countermeasure.
Washington described the result as a major victory for itself and its allies, and the network said so “FSB’s Most Sophisticated Long-Term Cyberspyware Malware Implant”.
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