Cyber Attacks by Russian Hackers on US Governments

Hackers associated with Russia are trying to break into computer networks of governments in the United States. They’ve done that at least twice, say the FBI and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

 

A Russian hacker collective called Berserk Bear or Dragonfly by researchers attacked dozens of networks of US states and cities. Networks of airlines were also targeted.

“Since September, a government-backed Russian group has been campaigning against several US targets,” the FBI and the ministry said in a statement some two weeks before the presidential election.

The hackers managed to break into an unknown number of networks and loot data in two cases. The authorities did not reveal which sources the burglaries were successful with.

In a statement, the FBI points to “the disgraceful behaviour of Russia.” The Russian Embassy in Washington, however, dismisses the accusations, referring to a statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, who called such allegations “absolutely baseless.”

In the run-up to the elections, the American authorities are extra vigilant about cyberattacks from abroad. Many in the US fear a repeat of the events before the 2016 presidential elections, when Russian hackers managed to steal and publish emails from prominent Democrats, among other things.

US intelligence chief John Ratcliffe recently warned that Russia and Iran are both trying to interfere in the presidential election. Iran and Russia want to undermine Americans’ confidence in the integrity of the elections and spread disinformation to influence the outcome.

Russia looted personal data of registered voters, and Iran sent intimidating fake emails to voters, Ratcliffe said.

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