Ransomware

Cyberattack On Russian Election Systems Amid 2024 Elections

The cyberattack hits Russia at a critical moment as the country prepares for a presidential election.

by Ashish Khaitan March 11, 2024 in Firewall Daily, Hacker Claims Reading Time: 3 mins read 0

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, an anti-Putin hacktivist group, claimed a , targeting critical infrastructure for the upcoming Russian election. In their dark web post, the threat actor posted a message aimed directly at the Moscow Government, encrypting several systems and leaving a “big” demand for ransom.

The message, originating from the self-proclaimed “Mothership,” urged the government to reconsider its actions amidst the election season. Nebula emphasized the importance of resisting what they deemed a “sham” election and called upon the people to unite and fight against it.

With the encrypted systems including critical government websites and networks, Nebula sent a clear message: they were determined to disrupt the electoral process.

Nebula Hacker Group Claims Cyberattack on Russian Election Systems

Source: CyberKnow on X

The cyberattack hits Russia at a critical moment as the country prepares for a presidential election. President Vladimir Putin is expected to win another term, yet the campaign faces controversy as opposition candidates confront obstacles in their candidacy process.

Despite efforts from opposition figures like Boris Nadezhdin and Yekaterina Duntsova, who sought to challenge Putin's stance on issues like the campaign in Ukraine, their applications were denied.

This left only a handful of candidates, all of whom supported Putin's policies, to participate in the election. Critics of the Kremlin argued that these candidates merely provided a facade of choice, while independent observers raised concerns about potential electoral manipulation.

Nebula's cyberattack adds another layer of complexity to an already tense situation. Known for their previous hacks on Russian government systems, Nebula has consistently challenged the status quo. Their latest attack highlights the growing trend of cyber warfare in global politics, particularly in conflicts like the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Who is the Nebula Hacker Group?

In addition to targeting government systems, Nebula also made headlines for infiltrating Tehtrans, a corporation potentially linked to Russia's rail industry. By gaining access to the company's cameras and even altering its website to feature a playable version of Pac-Man, Nebula demonstrated its ability to penetrate seemingly secure networks.

Nebula, a group with pro-Ukrainian agenda, inadvertently exposed its activities during a breach of Russian software company Insoft.ru. The leaked screenshots revealed Meterpreter shells accessing Insoft's infrastructure, likely originating from IPs owned by LimeNet in the Netherlands. 

Despite attributions to the IT Army of Ukraine (volunteer cyberwarfare organisation), Nebula's actions contradict their philosophy, targeting medical and Russian entities. This opportunistic behavior hints at broader geopolitical tensions, with Nebula possibly sending a warning to Iran due to its support for Russia. Whether this sporadic cyber activity against Iranian assets evolves into a sustained trend remains to be seen.

Moreover, the cybersecurity domain in Russia has become increasingly volatile, with both international and domestic hackers targeting government institutions and businesses associated with the war effort in Ukraine. Groups like , reportedly composed of former Anonymous members, have successfully breached organizations like Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, showcasing the vulnerability of even the most sophisticated systems.

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