Russia cyber attack: Large hack ‘hits government’

BBC News
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A “professional” cyber attack has hit Russian government bodies, the country’s intelligence service says.

A “cyber-spying virus” was found in the networks of about 20 organisations, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said.

The report comes as Russia stands accused over data breaches involving the Democratic Party in the US.

The Russian government has denied involvement and has denounced the “poisonous anti-Russian” rhetoric coming out of Washington.

The FSB did not say who it believed was responsible for hacking Russian networks, but said the latest hack resembled “much-spoken-about” cyber-spying, without elaborating.

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It said the hack had been “planned and made professionally”, and targeted state organisations, scientific and defence companies, as well as “country’s critically important infrastructures”.

The malware allowed those responsible to switch on cameras and microphones within the computer, take screenshots and track what was being typed by monitoring keyboard strokes, the FSB said.

In the US, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have both suffered hacks in recent weeks.

Emails from the DNC were later distributed by the Wikileaks organisation, and showed party officials had been biased against Bernie Sanders in his primary race against Hillary Clinton.

US officials believe the cyber attacks were committed by Russian agents.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied being responsible, and Mrs Clinton’s presidential rival Donald Trump said he had no ties to Russia.

The Clinton campaign said on Friday that an analytics data program, which it shared with other entities, had been accessed by hackers.

But, her press secretary Nick Merrill said, there was “no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised”.

The FBI said it was investigating the extent of any hacking.

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