Russians aim to stop military infrastructure cyber-attacks

Hackers are believed to be seeking to discredit the Russian Minister and Ministry of Defence in recent cyber-attacks which stole confidential military information, so counter-measures are now underway.

Cyber-attacks stole Iskander missile location data
Cyber-attacks stole Iskander missile location data

 The Russian Ministry of Defence is planning a package of measures aimed at preventing of further cyber-attacks on key infrastructure following recent breaches that resulted in the theft of confidential information.

Among the stolen information was weapons data including the location of Iskanders, Russia's mobile short-range ballistic missile system, and the deployments of its the fourth generation nuclear-powered submarines. All the information was subsequently posted by hackers in on freely accessible sites.

A preliminary investigation conducted by the Russian Federal Security Service, revealed that several official documents were leaked, including classified information transmitted via e-mail,  and the accounts breached included those of some top commanders and officials of the Russian Ministry of Defence, who had registered on Apple devices.  

Andrew Masalovich, head of Inforus Consortium, one of Russia's leading IT secuity analyst agencies, commented to SC: "The whole scheme of hacking used this time was almost exactly the same as that which was used during the attacks on the Twitter account of Russia's Prime-Minister Dmitry Medvedev about a year ago. There is a need to design additional security measures in order to prevent further theft of confidential information."

The volume of leaked information has not been disclosed.

It is planned that the counter measures will come under personal control of Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

Dmitry Peskov, an official Putin's spokesman, comments to SC: "We are planning to check the accuracy of the information that was stolen by hackers. The use of common servers for business purposes is not a good solution under current conditions, while its use for the transmission of any secret information is real madness."

The planned measures are not disclosed, though according to some sources close to the Russian Federal Security Service, among them will be the introduction of a ban on the transmission of information by all state officials via smartphones and open web-servers, as well as more strictly defined responsibilities for such activities.  

Other undisclosed measures are also planned, to be undertaken by the Ministry of Defence, the Federal Security Service and some of the country's leading IT security vendors.

Edward Rodyukov, a member of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, notes that hackers have become not only a form of spy weapon in themselves, but are also participants in major political intrigues and information warfare, both in Russia and Western countries.

Rodyukov says that the latest attacks are an attempt to discredit the leadership of the Ministry of Defence in general and the Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in particular. According to some sources in the Russian Federal Security Service, hackers may be affilated with foreign intelligence agencies concerned about the growth of the  Russian army's military strength.

Earlier this year, hackers conducted massive DDoS-attacks on the website of the Russian Federal Agency of Incidents.