Russia has long prided itself as having the world's "second greatest army" and the world's "best" hackers with a large number of hacks against the United States, Europe, and in Ukraine. However, in the past few weeks, it appears that Russia's reputation was judged too highly, as it has faced one disastrous hack after another by anti-Putin or pro-Ukraine hacking groups.
Sergey Morgachev, who is wanted by the US' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly having participated in hacks against individuals involved in the 2016 US Presidential elections, was himself hacked. Morgachev, who is a member of Russian military intelligence and holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, is thought to be the mastermind behind "Fancy Bear," which is known as Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 28.
Documents leaked online show that Mogachuv was hacked, most likely in March, by the pro-Ukrainian hacker group Cyber Resistance. Among the documents captured were copies of Mogachuv's passport, his car registration, driver's license, personal photos, legal documents, work related reports, and other materials. Included in the hack was information about his use of Cobalt Strike, a favorite tool of cybercriminals as a way to remotely access and manage infected computer systems.
Having not had enough of simply shaming one of Russia's top hackers, by beating him at his own game, the pro-Ukrainian hackers then went on a shopping spree using the disgraced Russian Lieutenant Colonel's AliExpress account to order a wide assortment of goods - including sex toys, FBI memorabilia, and gay pride paraphernalia. According to initial reporting, the materials were successfully shipped to Mogarchev before he became aware of the hack.
An article published by Coindesk stated that "986 funding wallets controlled by the Foreign Military Intelligence Agency (GRU), Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and Federal Security Service (FSB) were accused of being involved in hacking by Chainalysis, which works closely with the U.S. government.
The vigilantes are said to have "burned" several of the wallets, meaning that they were forever lost and could not be retrieved by the Russian intelligence services who had been using the accounts. Some news sources indicated that at least some of the money had been sent to pro-Ukrainian charities.
As the month continued to worsen for Russia's cyber-ego, the video conference "Russian-Iranian Cooperation in a Changing World," organized by Russia's Institute for Commonwealth of Independent States, were shocked when the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) announced its presence at the event during the very end of the event.
Using the name of a well-known Russian academic, a viral video shows the alleged "academic '' begin to thank participants, before announcing that he was, in fact, an officer of the Security Services of Ukraine. He went on that all those who participated in the event, including the translators and facilitators, would face international sanctions for their attendance at the event as accomplices of war crimes as part of the effort to wage the illegal war against Ukraine.
Russia, once thought of as a great cyber-war power has, once again, proven to be more of a paper tiger.
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