Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Russian Tech Giant Yandex Targeted With ‘Regin’ Malware: Report

Hackers believed to be working for Western intelligence agencies breached the systems of Russian tech giant Yandex last year as part of an attack that involved a new variant of the Regin malware, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Hackers believed to be working for Western intelligence agencies breached the systems of Russian tech giant Yandex last year as part of an attack that involved a new variant of the Regin malware, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Reuters learned from four sources that the breach occurred between October and November 2018, it targeted Yandex’s research and development unit, and its goal was apparently to steal technical information on the company’s user authentication system. This information may have allowed the attackers to impersonate users and obtain their private messages.

While Reuters’ sources said the attackers had access to Yandex’s network for weeks before being detected, the Russian company’s representatives stated that the attack “was detected at a very early stage” and it was “fully neutralized before any damage was done.” The company also claimed no user data was compromised.

The attack was said to involve a new version of Regin, a stealthy attack platform that has been used to target organizations across various sectors and countries since at least 2008.

Discovered by Symantec in 2014, Regin was immediately believed to be the work of a state-sponsored threat actor and some have linked it to US and British intelligence. The malware was reportedly used in attacks targeting EU government networks and in an attack allegedly launched by the UK’s GCHQ intelligence agency against Belgian telecoms firm Belgacom.

Nearly half of the victims identified in the initial report on Regin were located in Russia and Saudi Arabia.

A later analysis by Symantec revealed that the Regin trojan, which had been referenced in documents leaked by Edward Snowden, had tens of modules that provided it a wide range of capabilities, including keylogging, impersonation, file system forensics and monitoring, network packet capturing, process hooking, system and network information harvesting, credentials theft, and writing and reading emails.

It is unclear exactly who launched the attack on Yandex, but the main suspects are Five Eyes intelligence agencies.

According to Reuters, the attack on Yandex was investigated by Kaspersky, which reportedly found that the attackers, likely tied to Western intelligence, targeted a group of Yandex developers.

This comes shortly after The New York Times reported that the United States had planted potentially destructive malware in Russia’s electric power grid, a claim that President Donald Trump has denied.

Related: Russia Demands Explanation for US Military Hacking Reports

Related: U.S. Military Should Step Up Cyber Ops, Says General

Related: U.S. Vows Response to Russian Hack at ‘Time and Place of our Choosing’

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cyberwarfare

Websites of German airports, administration bodies and banks were hit by DDoS attacks attributed to Russian hacker group Killnet

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Cybercrime

A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...

Cyberwarfare

Iranian APT Moses Staff is leaking data stolen from Saudi Arabia government ministries under the recently created Abraham's Ax persona