Russian Hackers Are A Global Threat

A Russian nation-state hackers with links to Russian military intelligence has become a significant global threat by taking a significant role in the current war in Ukraine. The leading cyber security firm Mandiant has reported detecting various operations by the group, known as Sandworm, in exploits which serve geopoltical  Russian interests.

The Mandiant report coincides with , a US court laying charges against Russian military intelligence officers for their alleged interference with the 2016 US presidential election, according to the FBI.

Mandiant researchers report that “We have observed the group sustain access and espionage operations across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Latin America... With a record number of people participating in national elections in 2024, Sandworm’s history of attempting to interfere in democratic processes further elevates the severity of the threat the group may pose in the near-term.”

Sandworm is said to have a record of penetrating democratic electoral systems and Institutions and has also “attempted to interfere with democratic processes in select countries by leaking politically sensitive information and deploying malware to access election systems and misreport election data,” as reported by Mandiant.

The group has since established itself as Russia’s leading offensive cyber unit, with joint operations alongside the Russian military in the conflict with Ukraine. 

Sandworm is also reportedly sponsored by the Russian military intelligence and is “actively engaged in the full spectrum of espionage, attack, and influence operations.” The researchers conclude that the group’s attempts range across many different fields, as long as it serves the political interests of the Russian Military. “We assess with high confidence that (Sandworm) is seen by the Kremlin as a flexible instrument of power capable of servicing Russia’s wide-ranging national interests and ambitions, including efforts to undermine democratic processes globally.”

Sandworm's operations extend beyond Ukraine, with operations worldwide in key political, military, and economic hotspots, Mandiant say.

With a record number of people participating in national elections in 2024, Sandworm’s history of attempting to interfere in democratic processes increases the likely severity of the threat the group may pose in the near-term. 

Mandiant    |  I-HLS   |    France24   |   Economic Times    |    Al Arabiya   |    NATO    |

Image: Ideogram

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