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Vulkan Files: Massive Leak Reveals How Putin's Russian Hacker Army Operates

2023-03-30T18:31:48.937Z


More than 5,000 documents display a digital machine whose objective is to control the Internet and spread disinformation through cyber intelligence operations.


The plans of the

Russian intelligence agency

 in cyberwar have been exposed in the last few hours from a large leak that is becoming known as the

"Vulkan Files"

 in the international media.

Reports point to a

major Moscow - based defense contractor

reporting to

Vladimir Putin

with the ability to launch

cyberattacks

,

sow disinformation

and ram 

targeted targets

in the US and Europe through an

army of hackers

.

The documents detail

a set of software and databases

that would allow Russian intelligence agencies and hacker groups to better find vulnerabilities, coordinate attacks, and monitor online activity, the documents The Washington

Post

published Thursday .

The reports even give details that the companies involved supported operations that included both disinformation from social networks and training to

remotely disrupt real-world targets

, such as maritime, air and rail control systems.

Putin seeks to control the speech that circulates on the internet in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

(Photo: EFE)

A source reportedly provided the documents of the contractor,

NTC Vulkan

, to a German journalist after expressing outrage over

Russia's attack on Ukraine

, as a consequence of decisions made by the Kremlin.

So far, officials from five Western intelligence agencies and several independent cybersecurity companies

say the documents are authentic

, according to

The Washington Post

.

On the other hand, these officials and experts were unable to find definitive proof that the systems were deployed by Russia or used in specific cyberattacks, but the documents describe

testing and payments for work done by Vulkan

for Russian security services. and various associated research institutes.

What is NTC Vulkan?

The disputed Russian company NTC Vulkan involved in the recent leak, which is also known as the

"Vulkan" Scientific and Research Center

, is mainly engaged in the

development of advanced technologies

for the

aerospace, military and defense industries

.

NTC Vulkan's areas of expertise include the design of systems and components for rockets, jet engines, drones, navigation equipment, and control systems.

The company is also engaged in research and development in areas such as nanotechnology, materials science, and laser technology.

NTC Vulkan has extensive experience in research and development of advanced technologies, and has been involved in

numerous projects for the Russian government and other national and international clients

.

The company also has a significant presence in the export of Russian defense technology.

The cyberwar plot directly involving Russia has several protagonists: the secret corporate dealings of Russia's military and spy agencies, including the work of the government hacking group

Sandworm

.

US authorities accused Russian cybercriminals of causing two blackouts in Ukraine, disrupting the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and launching

NotPetya

, the most financially destructive malware in history.

One of the leaked documents mentions Sandworm's military intelligence unit number designation 74455, suggesting that Vulkan was preparing software for the elite hacking squad to use.

The unsigned 11-page document, dated 2019, exposed a company official in approving the data transfer protocol for one of the platforms. 

The company is doing bad things

, and the Russian government is cowardly and wrong,” said the person who handed over the documents to the German journalist shortly after the invasion of Ukraine.

This anonymous source, who spoke with the journalist through an encrypted chat application, refused to identify himself before ending contact, stating the need to

disappear "like a ghost"

for security reasons.

I am angry about the invasion of Ukraine and the terrible things that are happening there

,” the source admitted.

"I hope they can use this information to show what happens behind closed doors."

Vulkan Files: what the report says

(Photo: Pexels)

According to the publication, the document dated between 2016 and 2021 has

more than 5,000 pages

.

Its contents include manuals, technical specification sheets, and other details of the software that Vulkan designed for the Russian military and intelligence establishment.

It also reveals

internal company emails

, financial records and contracts that expose part of Russia's cyber operations.

This includes programs to create

fake social media pages

and software that can identify and store lists of vulnerabilities in computer systems around the world for potential future targets.

Also, various UI prototypes for a

project known as Amezit

that represent examples of potential hacking targets, including the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a Swiss nuclear power plant.

Another file shows a map of the United States with circles indicating 

groups of Internet servers

.

An illustration of a Vulkan platform called

Skan

references a point location in the US, labeled "Fairfield", as a place to find network vulnerabilities to use in an attack.

Meanwhile, another document directly describes a "user scenario" in which hacking teams will identify insecure routers in North Korea, ostensibly for potential use in a cyberattack.

However, the files in question 

do not include verified target lists

, malware code, or evidence linking the projects to known cyberattacks.

SL

look too

Russia-Ukraine cyberwar: on whose side are the gangs that hack from websites to service stations?

The Russia-Ukraine war increased cyberattacks worldwide: 17% more in Latin America

Source: clarin

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