A Russian hacker group known as Cold River attacked three US nuclear research labs last summer. On Friday, January 6, reports Reuters with reference to a number of documents.
Specifically, between August and September, Cold River carried out cyberattacks at Brookhaven (BNL), Argonne (ANL), and Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), according to server visit data that suggests hackers created fake login pages. for each institution and sent emails to nuclear scientists trying to get them to reveal their passwords.
Reuters was unable to determine why these particular labs were targeted or whether the infiltration attempt was successful.
A BNL spokesperson declined to comment. A spokesperson for LLNL did not respond to a request for comment.. An ANL spokesperson forwarded the matter to the US Department of Energy, which declined to comment.
What is known, however, is that the digital blitz attack on US labs came at a time when UN experts entered Russian-controlled Ukrainian territory to inspect Europe's largest nuclear power plant and assess the risk of what both sides say could become a devastating radiation disaster amid intense shelling nearby.
According to cybersecurity experts and Western officials, Cold River has stepped up its hacking campaign against Kyiv's allies since the all-out invasion of Ukraine.
It is noted that the Cold River group first appeared on the radars of intelligence specialists after the attack on the British Foreign Office in 2016 and in recent years has been involved in dozens of other high-profile hacking incidents in recent years.
Reuters writes that it traced email boxes that were used in hacking operations between 2015 and 2020, and they led to an IT worker in the Russian city of Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi Republic.
Recall that Microsoft said that Russia intends to intensify cyber attacks against Ukraine: they will be aimed at critical infrastructure, undermining confidence in the government, and obstructing military and humanitarian support.