‘Pravyy Sector’ and DNC leak as symptoms of new trend in Russian cyber operations

Hacking group Pravyy Sector (‘pravyy’ is bastardised Ukrainian for ‘right’, Right Sector is the name of Ukrainian ultranationalist party), responsible for leaking customer data of Polish ISP Netia, claimed on Twitter that they breached network of Polish Ministry of Defense. Group claimed that they gained full access to the MoD network and, what might be even more interesting, got their hands on ‘PRISM Poland logs’. Pravyy Sector then demanded $50 000 transferred to specified account or bitcoin address in exchange for not leaking the data.

To prove their access, group has posted screenshots from apparent MoD computer, photos of application to ‘PRISM service’ and xml containing information about hosts in alleged MoD network. It is worth noting that materials posted initially were hardly a proof of compromised network – attached screenshots suggests that all files were taken from single computer. MoD soon issued a statement claiming that attackers has gained only outdated documents and are trying to overestimate their success. Pravyy Sector countered with posting screenshots of emails with information related to organisation of recent NATO summit. Ultimately however, it seems that they bluffed. Alleged information coming from PRISM programme are probably just data collected by botnet with only superficial modifications made to make them more believable. Soon after, group has deleted twitts related to hack.

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PRISM vs Facebook – do we have right to be outraged?

On June the 6th, 2013 Washington Post and The Guardian simultaneously released informations about US surveillance program broader in its scope that anything seen before. Furthermore PRISM as it is called targeted most sensitive data – collecting informations from providers of services that we use so often and for private communication. It is hard to name type of data that was not captured by government. Emails, videos, photos, VoIP and user activity among many more is captured straight from the servers of biggest vendors on the market – Microsoft, Apple and Google to name most significant. Affair become even more movie-like with reveal of man behind the leak. A lone whistleblower who left his family, six figures and comfortable life to reveal abuse of power and had to escape to Hong Kong to conclude in an interview ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’

The only reaction that could result from such a revelation was massive and universal outrage expressed on nomen omen, the internet. First responders were naturally tech savvy users from around the world, at least those whose response wasn’t ‘I told you so.’ But coming back to former group it’s really hard to blame them for their reaction. Is it possible not to feel sick while looking at documents saying that basically any of your emails can be accessed without any oversight?

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