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Google Sees Russia Coordinating With Hackers in Cyberattacks Tied to Ukraine War


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Google’s Mandiant cybersecurity group has seen possible coordination between the Kremlin and online activists.

Credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg News

A growing body of evidence suggests that pro-Russian hackers and online activists are working with the country's military intelligence agency, according to researchers at Google.

Western officials and security experts are interested in the possible Kremlin links because it would help explain Moscow's intentions both inside and outside Ukraine despite recent military setbacks that prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin this week to announce a mobilization push.

Officials in the U.S. and Europe have warned throughout the war that Russian hackers could lash out against Ukraine's allies by targeting critical infrastructure and governments with cyberattacks, but so far that has largely failed to materialize.

Over the past few months, Google's Mandiant cybersecurity group has observed apparent coordination between pro-Russian hacking groups—ostensibly comprising patriotic citizen hackers—and cyber break-ins by Russia's military intelligence agency, or GRU. In four instances, Mandiant says it observed hacking activity linked to the GRU in which malicious "wiper" software was installed on a victim's network.

From The Wall Street Journal
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