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Russian hackers spark panic as three US nuclear research labs targeted | Science | News

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Russian hackers have reportedly targeted three nuclear research laboratories within the US, web records reviewed by Reuters and five cybersecurity experts have revealed. The hacking team often called Cold River, reportedly made the attacks between August and September, targeting Brookhaven (BNL), Argonne (ANL) and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories (LLNL). 

Web records showed that the hackers created fake login pages for the institutions and emailed nuclear scientists to attempt to get them to disclose their passwords.

Hackers steadily use email accounts and domains that appear just like legitimate service providers, like “goo-link.online” and “online365-office.com,” which seem like the addresses of firms resembling Google or Microsoft.

While Reuters didn’t manage to find out the explanation why the labs were targeted or if the attempted infiltration proved successful, the news agency was told that the identical hacking group was also in a position to pay money for emails belonging to the previous head of the UK’s MI6 spy agency, later leaking them to the general public. 

It got here amid repeated threats of nuclear warfare from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who put his nuclear units on “high alert” because the dictator warned he wouldn’t hesitate to press the red button as tensions with the West soared amid his brutal war in Ukraine.

Cold River has also ramped up its hacking campaign against Kyiv’s Western through the Russian invasion of its neighbouring county, cyber security researchers and Western government officials have warned. 

The hacking group first caught the eye of intelligence professionals after it targeted Britain’s Foreign Office in 2016. Since then, it has been involved in lots of other high-profile hacking attempts through the years, interviews with nine cybersecurity firms revealed. 

The group is alleged to be “involved in directly supporting Kremlin information operations”, in response to cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. Last 12 months, it reportedly leaked emails from the previous chief of MI6, and it has also allegedly targeted non-government organisations investigating war crimes. 

The digital campaign is alleged to have come across the time that the UN commission accused Russian forces of committing war crimes and human rights violations early on within the Ukraine invasion.

Back in October, Russian hackers were accused of committing a cyber attack on multiple airports within the US airports, including Recent York’s LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare. 

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Pro-Kremlin hacking group Killnet had listed multiple US airports as targets, in response to CNN. The hacking squad also claimed it was answerable for hacking US Government web sites every week earlier and was accused of sending a US Congress website offline back in July. 

And last month, the group claimed it infiltrated the FBI in an enormous cyber-attack on the US security agency. The professional-Kremlin organisation reportedly posted online claiming to have stolen the non-public data of greater than 10,000 US federal agents.

Last month, Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told Russian media that the possibility of a clash between the US and Russia was “high”. He told  Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency that Washington needed time “to understand the futility of its policy towards Moscow”. 

Meanwhile, the Kremlin also accused the US of waging a proxy war against Russia by supplying Ukraine with an enormous package of heavy weapons. 

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Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that a US support package, which included the lethal Patriot missile defence system, was “not conducive to a speedy settlement”. 

And despite a 36-hour ceasefire within the conflict to mark  Orthodox Christmas, US President Joe Biden didn’t soften up on his stance towards Moscow. 

He said: I’m reluctant to reply (to) anything Putin says. I discovered it interesting. He was able to bomb hospitals and nurseries and churches on the twenty fifth and Recent Yr.”

BNL declined to comment on the story, while LLNL didn’t reply to a request. An ANL spokesperson referred inquiries to the US Department of Energy, which also declined to comment.

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