Large-scale hacker and sophisticated operations are stealing more and more data from government and private organizations.
Allegations of state-sponsored cyberattacks have been in the news lately, including alleged Russian hacks during the recent U.S. elections. These allegations are sometimes based on the code used to break into systems, and sometimes due to the sheer scale and sophistication of attacks that could only be brought by government agencies.
One such large-scale cyberattack, dubbed “Operation BugDrop,” seems to have been perpetrated against targets in the Ukraine, as reported on its blog by security firm CyberX. The attack went after at least 70 victim organizations and stole huge amounts of sensitive information using a number of methods including one attack vector — the PC microphone — that is very difficult to guard against.
Most of the targets were organizations located in the Ukraine, including companies involved in engineering and designing oil and gas distribution facilities, human rights organizations, newspaper editors, and more. A smaller number of organizations in Russia, Austria, and Saudi Arabia were also targeted. Stolen data appears to include audio recordings, screenshots, documents, and passwords.
Operation BugDrop serves to highlight the growing importance of well-organized and heavily financed cybercrime operations aimed at private and governmental organizations and capable of accumulating and analyzing massive amounts of proprietary information. CyberX concludes, not surprisingly, that organizations need to be diligent in monitoring their networks and applying more modern technologies to identify and respond to these increasingly sophisticated attacks.