Russia FSB hacked

It appears that the hackers got hacked this time! According to BBC Russia, hackers have managed to steal data from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

The attackers managed to steal about 7.5 terabytes of data from a major FSB contractor, thus exposing the secret projects the agency was working on to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape data from social media, and cut off Russia’s internet from the rest of the world.

Russia’s FSB is the successor agency to the infamous KGB and is similar to the FBI and MI5; a major part of their work includes electronic surveillance in the country and overseas as well.

The attack on FSB took place on July 13 when a hacking group that goes by the name 0v1ru$ breached SyTech, a major FSB contractor that works on several internet projects.

The hackers defaced SyTech’s homepage and left a smiling Yoba Face and other pictures to indicate the breach.

Yoba face left at SyTech's website
Image: Yoba face left on SyTech’s website

0v1ru$ passed on the stolen data to the larger hacking group Digital Revolution, which in turn shared the files with various media outlets and posted on Twitter.

FSB’s secret project data leaked

BBC Russia outlined the project data that was stolen and listed the major ones:

  • Nautilus: A project launched between 2009 and 2010 to scrape data on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace
  • Nautilus-S: A research project to de-anonymize Tor users by creating exit nodes that are controlled by the Russian government
  • Nadezhda (Hope in English)This project visualizes how Russia is connected to the rest of the Internet and attempts to create a “sovereign internet” that is isolated from the rest of the Internet
  • Reward: Penetrates and performs secret operations on peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent, Jabber, OpenFT, and ED2K
  • Mentor: Specially developed for the Russian military unit No. 71330 which serves as the radio-electronic intelligence of Russia’s FSB. A part of this project is to monitor selected email accounts at regular intervals to scan for certain phrases
  • Tax-3: It is the most recent project that offers the ability to manually remove information from the Federal Tax Service on individuals who are under state protection

SyTech’s website remains shut down ever since the breach and the agency is yet to comment on the same. Meanwhile, 0v1ru$ hacking group’s Twitter account has also been shut down. It isn’t clear whether Twitter closed the account or the group pulled the plug itself.

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