Federal agencies say Russia-backed hackers attacked state, local government networks
WASHINGTON (US) – Russia-backed hackers have been attempting to break into federal and local computer networks and they were successful in two instances, said government agencies on Thursday.
The agencies said that a Russian group, which is sometimes called Berserk Bear or Dragonfly by researchers, had targeted dozens of state, local, territorial and aviation networks.
“Since at least September 2020, a Russian state-sponsored … actor … has conducted a campaign against a wide variety of US targets,” said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security in a statement.
They successfully hacked into a number of networks earlier this month and pilfered data from two of them, the agencies said.
The FBI said it was “shining a spotlight on Russia’s nefarious behaviour.”
The Russian Embassy pointed to a recent statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who termed such allegations “absolutely groundless.”
There are worries of a potential hack similar to what took place during the last elections in 2016 when Russian-supported cyber sleuths released emails of prominent Democrats and other political entities, according to US intelligence agencies.
On Wednesday, US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that both Iran and Russia have tried to interfere with the 2020 election in a bid to undermine the confidence of citizens in the integrity of the vote and spread canards in a bid to sway its outcome.