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Unearthing APT44: Russia's notorious cyber-jamming force Sandworm

Unearthing APT44: Russia's notorious cyber-jamming force Sandworm


APT44 has a history of aggressively using its network attack capabilities across political and military contexts, making it a persistent and serious threat to governments and critical infrastructure operators around the world where Russia's national interests intersect. poses a threat. APT44's combination of high capabilities, risk tolerance, and wide-ranging mission in support of Russia's foreign policy interests puts governments, civil society, and critical infrastructure operators around the world at risk of suddenly becoming visible to the group. exposed.

Additionally, APT44 has determined that new cyberattack concepts and techniques pose a significant proliferation risk. The group's continued advancement and fielding of disruptive and disruptive capabilities may lower the barriers to entry for other state and non-state actors to replicate and develop their own cyber attack programs. there is. It is almost certain that Russia itself is wary and concerned about this proliferation risk, and Mandiant suggests that Russia's cybersecurity organization has developed a new approach to the category of destructive cyber capabilities originally used by APT44 against Ukraine. We have observed that they are demonstrating their defensive abilities.

Looking to the future

APT44 will almost certainly continue to present one of the most widespread and severe cyber threats worldwide. It has been at the forefront of threats for over a decade, contributing to numerous firsts that set precedents for future cyberattack operations. Historical patterns of activity, such as efforts to influence elections or retaliate against international sports organizations, limit nationalistic impulses that may fuel the organization's activities in the future. It suggests that there is no.

As the war with Russia continues, we expect Ukraine to remain the primary focus of Operation APT44. But history has shown that the group is deeply embedded in its mission, prepared to carry out cyber operations to advance the Kremlin's broader strategic goals globally. Accordingly, we assess that changing Western political dynamics, upcoming elections, and emerging issues in Russia closer to home will also continue to shape APT44's operations for the foreseeable future.

protect the community

As part of our research, we are taking various steps to protect our customers and communities.

Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) uses research to improve the safety and security of Google products. Once detected, all identified websites and domains are added to Safe Browsing to protect you from further abuse. All targeted Gmail and Workspace users will receive a government-backed attacker alert informing them of the activity and reminding potential targets to enable Enhanced Safe Browsing in Chrome. Ensure all devices are updated. When possible, Mandiant will send victim notifications through the Victim Notification Program. If you're using Google Chronicle Enterprise+, Chronicle rules have been released in the Emerging Threats rule pack and you can leverage IOCs for prioritization with Applied Threat Intelligence. The VirusTotal Collection featuring APT44-related compromise indicators is now available to registered users.

We are committed to sharing our findings with the security community to raise awareness and with businesses and individuals who may be targeted by these activities.

For a complete analysis of this group, a detailed list of malware used by APT44 since 2018, hunting rules for detecting malware, and a list of Mandiant Security Validation actions that organizations can use to validate their security controls, see Read the APT44 report.




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