Kremlin’s ties to Russian cyber gangs sow US concerns

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The relationship between Moscow and Russian cyber gangs may be tightening, spurred by international sanctions and disputes with the United States over military action in Ukraine and Syria, experts and federal lawmakers warn. Moscow has long been known to source its technology, world-class hacking talent and even some intelligence information from local cyber crime rings, or “the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe,” said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at security research firm Trend Micro. In exchange, officials turn a blind eye to the rampant underground economy these cyber crime syndicates have constructed, fueled largely by mammoth data breaches at major U.S. retailers and banks. “That symbiotic relationship has been going on for at least 10 years, if not longer,” said Jonathan Wrolstad, a cyber threat analyst with FireEye, a security firm that follows two of Russia’s more prominent intelligence hacking groups. Lawmakers tracking hacking threats agreed. In Russia, “there are private actors, there are government actors, and there are some that have almost a contractual relationship with the government,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. The quid pro quo has been mutually beneficial. Often times, “when someone is identified as being technically proficient […]

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