The United States countered a world-class cyberattack by removing Russian malware

The United States said on Wednesday April 6, 2022 that it secretly removed Russian malware that had infiltrated computer networks around the world in recent weeks. This measure aims to stem a possible massive cyberattack by Russia against American and European critical infrastructures.

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As you may know, the United States has made the decision not to intervene militarily in Ukraine, particularly in view of the risk of starting a 3rd World War with Russia. However, the American authorities do not intend to leave the field open to Vladimir Putin on cyberspace.

And precisely, the United States announced this Wednesday, April 6, 2022 secretly removing thousands of Russian malware installed in computer networks around the world. All in order to prevent a possible massive cyberattack. The move, made public by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, comes as US officials fear Russia is attempting to strike critical US infrastructure, such as banking institutions, pipelines and the country’s power grid, in response to threats. sanctions decreed against the country after the invasion of Ukraine.

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US halts Russian cyber actions

According to US authorities, the Russians mostly broadcast “Botnets”, networks of private computers infected with malware and controlled by the GRU, the Russian secret service. The purpose of such malware is not clear, as it can be used for all sorts of purposes. Nevertheless, the United States preferred to act before finding out the hard way.

Through secret orders issued by US courts and with the help of governments and intelligence agencies around the world, the Department of Justice and the FBI were able to disconnect the networks of the GRU controllers. These court decisions have allowed the FBI to penetrate the networks of international companies and remove Russian malware, sometimes without the knowledge of these companies. So far and according to US officials, the main Russian cyberattacks have been directed against Ukraine – like this “Wiper” malware designed to target PCs of Ukrainian institutions and erase all stored data.

The Americans also refer to the attack on the European Viasat satellite system, which they say is particularly worrying. Indeed, the Pentagon fears she exposed vulnerabilities in critical communications systems that the Russians and others could exploit. We already know that Chinese hackers are taking advantage of the conflict in Ukraine to recover sensitive data. These concerns therefore seem justified.

Source: New York Times

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