Google-owned security firm has a ‘Russian warning’ for the US – Times of India

Google-owned cybersecurity firm Mandiant has issued a warning regarding a hacking group linked to Russian military intelligence, saying that the group – called Sandworm – is expanding its operations and may target the US presidential elections.
Sandworm has “attempted to interfere with democratic processes in select countries by leaking politically sensitive information and deploying malware to access election systems and misreport election data,” Mandiant determined, as per news agency AFP.
The report highlights Sandworm’s history of targeting Western democracies. A US indictment linked the group to attempts at disrupting the 2016 US election and interfering with other electoral systems, particularly those in potential NATO member countries.
“With a record number of people participating in national elections in 2024, Sandworm’s history of attempting to interfere in democratic processes further elevates the severity of the threat the group may pose in the near-term,” the report added.
It is to be noted that five years ago, a US jury indicted a dozen Russian military intelligence officers on charges stemming from their alleged interference with the 2016 US presidential election that put Donald Trump in the White House, according to the FBI. Trump is again running for president, after losing re-election in 2020.

‘Sandstorm becoming a global threat’

Their report suggests “Sandworm” is evolving into a significant global threat, having played a critical role in the Ukraine conflict. Mandiant’s report also details the group’s expanding activity beyond Ukraine.
The cybersecurity company says that they are observing “Sandworm” operations in regions strategically important to Russia, including political, military, and economic hotspots.
“We have observed the group sustain access and espionage operations across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Latin America,” Mandiant researchers said in the report, as per news agency AFP.
Mandiant says that Sandworm was heavily relied upon during the Ukraine war. Their activities, spanning election interference and retaliation against international sports bodies, suggest a broad agenda driven by “nationalistic impulses.”

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