Russian hackers attacked three US nuclear laboratories: Reuters

Russian hackers attacked three US nuclear laboratories: Reuters

  • A group of Russian hackers targeted three US nuclear research laboratories.
  • The hackers attempted a phishing scam to try to obtain password information to access lab servers.
  • Russian hackers have used malware in phone apps to track Ukrainian artillery units.

A group of Russian hackers attempted to attack three US nuclear research laboratories in the summer of 2022, a Reuters investigation has revealed.

As Putin threatened the use of nuclear weapons in his invasion of Ukraine, Internet records reviewed by Reuters and five cybersecurity experts show that the Russian hacking group Cold River targeted the Brookhaven, Argonne and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in August and September.

According to the Reuters investigation, the hackers created fake login pages for the labs and contacted nuclear scientists to try to trick them into revealing their passwords.

Reuters could not confirm whether the phishing attempt was successful, and all three labs declined to comment to the news agency.

Adam Meyers, senior vice president of intelligence at US cyber security firm CrowdStrike told Reuters that Cold River is “one of the most important hacker groups you’ve never heard of”, adding: “They are involved in direct support of the Kremlin’s information operations”.

Reuters reports that Cold River hacked into and leaked emails belonging to the former head of Britain’s MI6 spy service in May 2022 and targeted Britain’s Foreign Office in 2016.

Hacking has become a significant weapon of war. Targeting mobile phones has been part of the fighting between Russia and Ukraine since 2014. Russian hackers have used malware in phone apps to track Ukrainian artillery units and have sent propaganda to Ukrainian phones using simulators imitating cell towers.

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Meanwhile, Ukrainians and foreign governments have been eavesdropping on Russian troops using unsecured phones to talk to each other and their families in Russia. Ukrainians are also said to have tracked Russian generals making unsecured calls and used the information to launch attacks, reports Insider’s Christopher Woody.

Russia’s electronic warfare has become a growing concern for the US military, with an increasing number of incidents. In 2018, it was reported that the Russian military had been able to jam some US drones operating in the skies above Syria, severely affecting US military operations


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