2 Russian Nationals Allegedly Engaged in Major Spear Phishing Campaign

2 Russian Nationals Allegedly Engaged in Major Spear Phishing Campaign

(USNewsBreak.com) – The US has many valuable allies but also experiences tensions with several countries. Russia is one of those nations whose animosity has grown, particularly in the face of its invasion of Ukraine. The US has lobbed multiple accusations at the Kremlin in the past few years. Now, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is pointing the finger at Russian hackers for allegedly breaching computer networks in what it’s calling a “sophisticated spear phishing campaign.”

On December 7, the DOJ unsealed an indictment against two Russian nationals, Ruslan Aleksandrovich Peretyatko, an officer with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), and Andrey Stanislavovich Korinets. It alleged the pair, who are reportedly part of the “Callisto Group,” engaged in a “campaign to hack into computer networks” in the US, Ukraine, the UK, and NATO member countries. Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen alleged they conducted this activity between October 2016 and October 2022 to “malign influence activity directed at the democratic processes of the United Kingdom.”

The indictment said the duo carried out the attacks on employees of the Department of Defense, US Intelligence Community, Department of State, Department of Energy facilities, and defense contractors. They sent emails using spoof accounts “designed to trick victims into providing their email account credentials.” When they obtained the passwords, they could access the employees’ accounts at will.

Currently, the DOJ doesn’t know Korinets’ and Peretyatko’s location, but the US Department of State has offered a reward of up to $10 million for anyone who provides information that leads to their location or identification. The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the UK have sanctioned the Russians. The DOJ has charged each with a single count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, which can carry a sentence of up to 5 years for Peretyatko and 10 years for Korinets.

Copyright 2023, USNewsBreak.com