January 11, 2017 by

U.S. Declassifies Technical Details of Russian Hacking

Following unprecedented sanctions against Russia for the cyberattacks and hacking endeavors in the run-up to the US presidential elections, the Obama administration has declassified technical information on the malicious cyber activities undertaken by Russian intelligence services.

Calling the sanctions a “necessary and appropriate response” the White House added that “all Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have released a joint analysis report that reveals details of the computers targeted and co-opted by Russian intelligence services, without the knowledge of their owners. The DHS has labeled this activity as Grizzly Steppe.

Russian intelligence sources compromised a number of computers located around the world to launch cyberattacks in an effort to mask their activities from Russia. The joint report also points to newly declassified data that would enable cybersecurity firms and security researchers to identify malware strains used by Russian intelligence services. The Obama administration adds that it hopes researchers will be able to use the information to identify and then block the malware. This, in turn, would force Russian intelligence services to re-engineer the malware.

The following is a graphical representation of how Russia state-sponsored hackers targeted and compromised the DNC in 2015.

Image source: DHS

This chart further explains how Russian intelligence conducted phishing campaigns that were often successful.

Image source: DHS

The sanctions were described as “a manifestation of an unpredictable and even aggressive foreign policy,” by Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.

The official added:

Considering the current transition period in Washington, we still expect that we’ll be able to get rid of such clumsy actions…of behaving like a bull in a china shop, and that we’ll be able to make mutual joint steps to enter on the path of normalization of our bilateral relations

President-elect Trump will have the authority to reverse the sanctions, according to Obama administration officials. For his part, Trump has stated “It’s time for our country to move onto bigger and better things.”

He added, however:

Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.

Image credit: Wikimedia.

About the author

Image of Author

LIFARS is a digital forensics and cybersecurity intelligence firm based in New York City. LIFARS is ranked as one of the top Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigations companies in 2016 and as one of the top cybersecurity companies in the New York metropolitan area for 2015 on the Cybersecurity 500 – a directory of the hottest and most innovative companies to watch in the cybersecurity industry.

Related articles

UK Cybersecurity Chief Blames Russia for Cyberattacks

The head of the UK GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has accused Russia of staging...

Read more arrow_forward

US Homeland Security Team Remotely Hacked a Boeing 757

A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official has admitted that he and a team of experts remotely...

Read more arrow_forward

US Govt Warns Energy, Aviation Companies of Cybersecurity Threats

The US government has reportedly issued a rare public warning about targeted hacking campaigns...

Read more arrow_forward