The FBI and the US government's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on Thursday issued a joint warning that a Kremlin hacking crew is probing or breaking into systems belonging to the US government and aviation industry.
The joint advisory states that the team, known as Energetic Bear among other monikers, has been specifically going after US state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) government networks, as well as aviation, since at least September 2020. We're told:
It appears the goal of the Russians is to obtain the necessary inside information or access to systems to ultimately stir up civil unrest and distrust in the results of the November 3 US elections, and convince citizens to question the outcome. With US officials urging people to rely on local governments, and other trusted sources such as top-tier media, for election news and results, we can easily see why Moscow wants to meddle with those organizations. Voting infrastructure is said to be unaffected.
"The actor may be seeking access to obtain future disruption options, to influence US policies and actions, or to delegitimize SLTT government entities," the advisory warned.
"As this recent malicious activity has been directed at SLTT government networks, there may be some risk to elections [sic] information housed on SLTT government networks. However, the FBI and CISA have no evidence to date that integrity of elections data has been compromised."
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