Things have never been worse for America. The country is fighting two of its biggest battles at the same time on somewhat different frontiers. While on one hand the global pandemic still remains very much in the thick of the things, the cyber warfare happening on the fringes is getting more and more intense every day. It isn’t a secret that Covid 19 has depleted the resources of almost every country, and amidst all this, getting their core infrastructure repeatedly attacked has posed a humongous challenge in front of US government. Systems that facilitate the fulfilment of basic needs of people living in the country are being targeted, and needless to say, the effects of it are reaching the common citizen. Nevertheless, after what feels like an eternity, there is finally some good news. US law enforcement agencies have been aggressively trying to trace down the culprits behind these cyberattacks, and finally they have their breakthrough.
Recently, in collaboration with Ukraine and South Korea (two other countries that were mainly being targeted by a spree of ransomware attacks), they were able to locate the base of some hackers in Kyiv, Ukraine. With everything in place, these law enforcement agencies managed to track down a group of six hackers who played a vital role in orchestrating a lengthy string of cyberattacks. If initial reports coming out are to be believed, then this group of hackers alone caused a damage of 500 million US dollars. The list of this group’s victims is a long one, with many US educational institutions like University of California, University of Maryland, Stanford University Medical School included in there. It was an operation jointly carried out by NPU (National Police of Ukraine), US law enforcement agencies, and authorities from South Korea. We are yet to find out whether any official arrests were made, but the authorities did find huge sums of money from over 20 locations in Kyiv.
One of the biggest positives to come out of this operation is that the authorities were also able to seize the infrastructure used by these hackers to execute the attacks.