Dark Web Hackers Leaking Top Kremlin Info
Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin, a notorious dark web hacker, stood at the top of the FBI’s most wanted list for years. To gauge just what kind of high-profile cyber criminal he is, the Russian government-backed hacker has been suspected to be responsible for the cyber attacks in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and Germany’s Bundestag.
However, only a few weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and suddenly, his personal information, from his Facebook accounts to his emails, phone number, passport details and more – became available on the net for all to see.
Since the war began, the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, known as a Kremlin mouthpiece and home to Vladimir Solovyov, whose daily TV show highlights and encourages only the most extreme Russian government propaganda, has been mercilessly targeted. As of March 30, approximately one million emails spanning two decades of the broadcaster’s history were leaked onto the Internet.
Airing the broadcasting company’s dirty laundry was only a step in the large scale cyber attack on Russian companies and government agencies, as hordes of pro-Ukrainian hackers continuously harass, and thwart their Russian propaganda efforts. The terrifying part is that many of them were new and previously unknown players to cyber-security experts.
As a result, millions of documents have leaked from every crack in the Kremlin’s armor. From a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church found to be pushing the Ukrainian war, to Belarusian power supplier Elektrotsentrmontazh, Transneft, a massive oil pipeline operator close to the Russian government and even Russia’s own Ministry of Culture.
According to Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, principal threat researcher at SentinelOne, a cyber security group, Russia is being attacked from every front in the cyber war, at an unprecedented rate. What’s worse, is that these are low tier hackers, and they are making terabytes upon terabytes of highly classified data fall right out of the Kremlin’s hands.
Before, Russia was only cracked by hackers of a higher calibre, through a systematic process. These hacks were carried out by the Chinese government, as well as ‘The Five Eyes’, an intelligence alliance comprised of the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. With this context in mind, the breadth of leaks being perpetrated by this voluntary army is astonishing.
For over a decade, Russian state-supported hackers have targeted Ukrainian entities, financial and other government systems. Only recently, with the aid of the US government and its intensive training of its own security forces, the tide has turned against Russia. What’s more, the assistance of an outstanding volunteer of hackers comprising of Ukraine’s IT Army has Ukrainian defenses outer-performing Russia’s aggression.
Now, the tables have turned as Russia is now being hunted in cyberspace by pro-Ukraine hackers, opportunistic criminal rings and, based on the findings of some security researchers, government-backed entities from Western countries.