According to the reports of a U.S. cybersecurity firm, the Russian Government has snooped on a number of Asian, European and American companies with the intention of economic gains. The farm also added that they have gathered evidence to support their report. This is the first time that Moscow has been linked to cyber- attacks with the motto of economic gain rather than political.
According to the report presented by the firm CrowdStrike, the targets of the previously unreported Russian cyber spying were chieflyfrom the energy and technology sectors; and some of these companies have suffered a major loss in terms of intellectual property. The firm declined all the requests for further details about those losses citing confidentiality agreements which are a major part of their investigation. Till early Wednesday, no officials at Russian Interior Ministry, Moscow, could be reached for their comments on the issue.
The chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, Dmitri Alperovitch, told Reuters on Tuesday evening, that the attacks appear to have been encouraged by the interest of the Russian government in helping its industries maintain competitiveness in strategic sectors of national significance.
Cybersecurity researchers have in the past said a many times that Chinese government was actively participating in cyber spying campaigns against a number of corporations, and these actions of China’s government can be dated back as far as 2005; but according to Alperovitch this is the first time that the Russian government has been found to have links with cyber invasions on companies of other nationality. According to him, CrowdStrike has been actively following the actions of the Russian group “Energetic Bear” since the past two years; and the firm strictly believes that the Russian government is the main influence behind the campaign.According to Alperovitch, analysis of the targeted companies and the data stolen clearly indicates the involvement of the Russian government. The CrowdStrike report also says that the victims of this cyber espionage include European companies from energy, defense, and technology sectors as well as government agencies.
Alperovitch himself has a Russian ethnic origin and presently is a resident of Washington, D.C. area; he came into lime light while working for McAfee Inc. when his team of researchers produced a landmark January 2010 report describing how Chinese hackers had launched series of cyber- attacks named “Operation Aurora” against Google Inc. and a number of other organizations. In the year 2012, he co-founded the firm CrowdStrike, which collects information on the activities of the hacking groups and develops software to prevent such attacks. He told Reuters that according to the information collected by his firm about Energetic Bear, clearly suggests that the Russian government has started playing the Chinese game, as cyber spying can be a very lucrativeoption for economic benefit to a nation.