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Wednesday, 31 October 2012 11:31

Georgian government outs Russian hacker

Written by Nick Farrell



Posts his snap on the net


Georgia, which once angered the Turks by building a fort called “Kiss my arse” to commemorate a diplomatic insult, has outed a Russian hacker. The hacker had been bothering the Georgian government's networks and stealing its confidential information so the Georgian spooks published his picture.

In one of the photos, the dark-haired, bearded hacker is peering into his computer's screen to see what is happening before he twigs to what is happening and shuts down. The Georgians do not get on very well with the Russians which launched a five-day military campaign in August 2008 against Georgia that was preceded by a wave cyberattacks. The photos of the hacker were taken after investigators with the Georgian government's Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert.gov.ge) managed to bait him into downloading what he thought was a file containing sensitive information.

The investigation discovered a sophisticated operation that planted malicious software on numerous Georgian news websites. News stories were selected to attract victims had headlines such as "NATO delegation visit in Georgia" and "US-Georgian agreements and meetings," according to the report.

The agency found that 300 to 400 computers located in key government agencies were infected and transmitting sensitive documents to drop servers controlled by the hacker. Malicious software was programmed to search for specific keywords, such as USA, Russia, NATO and CIA, in Microsoft Word documents and PDFs, and was eventually modified to record audio and take screenshots. The documents were deleted within a few minutes from the drop servers, after the hacker had copied the files to his own PC.

Nick Farrell

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