Starting in January 2020, Russian state-sponsored hackers have repeatedly attacked American defense contractors, according to the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). On a discovered by , the agency said on Wednesday that Russian-backed actors had spent the past two years attacking contractors with US security clearance. In addition, these activities made it possible to obtain confidential information and export-controlled technologies, CISA said.
These hackers cast a wide net, targeting companies with contracts involving weapons and missile development, as well as vehicle and aircraft design, among other sensitive areas of work for the Department of Defense. CISA does not mention that these actors obtained confidential documents, but the agency notes that they went after targets large and small. Along with the FBI and NSA, CISA predicts that Russian-backed hackers will continue to attack defense contractors for the foreseeable future.
“The information acquired provides significant insight into US weapons platform development and deployment timelines, vehicle specifications, and plans for communications infrastructure and information technology,” CISA said. “By acquiring proprietary internal documents and email communications, adversaries can adjust their own military plans and priorities, accelerate technology development efforts, inform foreign policymakers of US intentions, and target potential sources of recruitment.”
The warning comes as tensions between the US and Russia continue to mount over a potential invasion of Ukraine. In recent weeks, the country has faced several cyber attacks, the most recent being . Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and two of its state-owned banks have suffered denial-of-service attacks. The attacks were not directly attributed to Russian-backed actors, but the country blamed its neighbor last month for a campaign that .
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