FEDS: Four Russian Government Employees Charged in Two Separate Hacking Campaigns Targeting Worldwide Critical Infrastructure
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Justice unsealed two indictments today charging four defendants, all Russian nationals who worked for the Russian government, with attempting, supporting, and conducting cyber intrusions that together, in two separate conspiracies, targeted the global energy sector between 2012 and 2018. In total, these hacking campaigns targeted thousands of computers, at hundreds of companies and organizations, in approximately 135 countries.
A June 2021 indictment in the District of Columbia, United States v. Evgeny Viktorovich Gladkikh, concerns the alleged efforts of an employee of a Russian Ministry of Defense research institute and his co-conspirators to damage another country’s critical infrastructure, thereby causing two separate emergency shutdowns at the targeted facility. The conspiracy subsequently attempted to hack the computers of a U.S. company that managed similar critical infrastructure entities in the United States.
“The FBI, along with our federal and international partners, is laser-focused on countering the significant cyber threat Russia poses to our critical infrastructure.”— FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate
Similarly, an August 2021 indictment from the District of Kansas, United States v. Pavel Aleksandrovich Akulov, et al., details allegations about a two-phased campaign undertaken by three officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and their co-conspirators to target and compromise the computers of hundreds of energy sector-related companies and entities worldwide. Access to such systems would have provided the Russian government the ability to, among other things, disrupt and damage such computer systems at a future date of its choosing.
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