(NewsReady.com) – On April 6, the Department of Justice announced a major bust. FBI agents were able to outsmart Russian hackers and take control of a massive hacking operation. It was a big win in the US government’s cybercrime fight.
According to a DOJ statement, FBI agents took control of thousands of firewall devices and routers from the hands of hackers working with the Russian military. The global botnet – a network of hacked computers that can be used in cyberattacks – was allegedly under the control of Sandworm, a cyber unit of the Russian Federation’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). The US team was able to breach the hackers’ operation and prevent the botnet from being used.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said the operation was court-authorized. The agency also reviewed malware from thousands of computers used by small businesses.
FBI Director Christopher Wray announces a “sophisticated, court-authorized operation disrupting a botnet of thousands of devices controlled by the Russian government, before they can do any harm.” https://t.co/s10Ls6L2Fw pic.twitter.com/cSDsW4cnXU
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 6, 2022
US Attorney Cindy Chung for the Western District of Pennsylvania called the Russian operation a “[threat] to national security” and said her office is committed to “defend[ing] and maintain[ing] our nation’s cybersecurity.”
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen said the DOJ’s National Security Division worked with cybersecurity experts WatchGuard, UK officials, and other US agencies to show “the strength of public-private partnership[s]” to combat cyber threats.
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