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Cybersecurity: Russia's Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked

Russia Secret Services Underwent Its Biggest Hack

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About two weeks ago in Russia, the FSB, the country’s secret intelligence agency, underwent the biggest hack in history,  stealing more than 7.5 terabytes of data. 

On July 13th, hackers targeted a Moscow information technology company called ‘SyTech’ who is a contractor of the FSB for cyber-projects. It is well known among the hackers community that SyTech is at the heart of Russia’s biggest projects. 

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A hackers group called 0v1ru$ shared data to journalists. It described in details some plans from Russia to delete social media websites and ultimately exclude the Russian Internet from the rest of the world. The documents leaked to media outlets also shared plans from the Kremlin to de-anonymize Tor browsing. 

7.5 terabytes of stolen data

BBC Russia was the first media to be informed of the leak, last July 13th. On that day, the British media informed that 0v1ru$ breached Syetch’s servers and shared confidential details of cyber projects designed by the FSB.

Hackers put the “Yoba face” (see above) on Sytech’s homepage, a drawing well known by hackers which is posted by hackers whenever they are trolling an entity.

According to the documents BBC Russia received, the FSB’s plans included scraping the world’s most famous social media platforms Facebook and Linkedin in Russia. More than 7,5 terabytes of data was breached by the hackers – as a reminder, a terabyte can approximately hold about 500 hours worth of video.

Several projects exposed

0v1ru$, which is the pseudonym of the hacker – or several hackers – who hacked the website, detailed different projects called: “Arion”, “Relation”, “Hryvnia,” in addition with names of SyTech project managers – thus proving they had valuable information both on projects and the staff.

A few moments later, the 0v1ru$ entity sent the data to a hacking group called Digital Revolution, which already hacked the FSB in the past.

As the BBC started fact checking right away the data sent from 0v1ru$, the British media claimed that “no actual state secrets were exposed”, it still described the breach as possibly “the largest data leak in the history of Russian intelligence services.”. 

More on Alvexo: “Have we reached the era of “surveillance capitalism”?”

Will the FSB pursue its projects?

Although this leak might be the biggest in FSB’s history, it seems that Russia has already decided to pursue its projects.

According to Business Insider, Russian president Vladimir Putin has already signed provisions to guarantee that the country would soon have an Internet cut from the rest of the world.

It it sais that it will be likely that the names of the projects will change, but that their goals will remain the same: to create a closed Internet system that would not allow any interaction with foreign entities online.

In total, more than 20 projects were exposed in the leaked data. At the moment, the FSB has not wished to comment the event.

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Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.