CISA accuses Russia-backed hackers of stealing info from US defense contractors for years. This information contains significant insights into weapons development, communications infrastructure, and IT, a bulletin published this week warned.
The FBI, the National Security Agency, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in a joint cybersecurity advisory said US defense contractors were regularly targeted from January 2020 through February 2022. This may lead to changes in plans or postures among foreign governments or accelerate their development of tech and related policy.
The targeted teams worked on defense and intelligence contracts. This includes missile development and vehicle and aircraft design. These compromised companies supported the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Space Force, and national security programs, generally.
CISA during a notable transgression in 2021, said, “actors exfiltrated hundreds of documents related to the company’s products, relationships with other countries, and internal personnel and legal matters.”
According to Rob Joyce, the director of cybersecurity for the National Security Agency, the Russian state-sponsored “cyber actors” have been “persistent in targeting the U.S. cleared defense contractors to get at sensitive information.” While the onslaught is expected to continue.
The advisory comes amidst the Russian threat to invade Ukraine that is grabbing news headlines worldwide. According to the local officials on Feb 15, Ukraine bank and government websites were hit by a cyberattack, though it was not clear who was behind those attacks. Earlier in January also dozens of sites were disabled.
Agencies, businesses, and other organizations have been cautioned by the U.S. government to guard against cyberattacks, issuing a so-called “Shields Up” notice.
CISA, part of the Department of Homeland Security said, “While there are not currently any specific credible threats to the U.S. homeland, we are mindful of the potential for the Russian government to consider escalating its destabilizing actions in ways that may impact others outside of Ukraine.”
The agencies said, Russia is known to use cyber and disinformation as a means of force projection, a tactic used earlier against Ukraine in 2015.
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