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  1. Government Computing
April 15, 2021

Russian involvement exposed by UK in SolarWinds cyber compromise

The UK government has managed to expose details of the Russian Federation’s civilian foreign intelligence service Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki (SVR) cyber programme.

With high technological advancement, the SVR tries to develop capabilities for undetected operations against European nations, NATO members and its near neighbours. Credit: Bernard Hermant/Unsplash.

The SVR is the successor to the KGB’s First Chief Directorate and mostly aims to gather intelligence from overseas governmental, diplomatic, think-tank, healthcare and energy targets.

With high technological advancement, the SVR tries to develop capabilities for undetected operations against European nations, NATO members and its near neighbours.

In December 2020, a compromise of SolarWinds IT services firm was found out. A fact confirmed by SolarWinds, which also stated that 18,000 organisations across the world were affected, including US Government departments.

However, the impact of the SVR’s exploitation of this software on the UK is not much.

The (NCSC) believes the likeliness of Russia’s foreign intelligence services being responsible for the compromise of Orion, the SolarWinds software, along with subsequent targeting.

In open source, SVR cyber actors are known and tracked as APT29 Cozy Bear The Dukes.

The Orion incident is part of an SVR pattern, which includes them using their access to governmental networks across Europe and NATO countries to collect intelligence such as geopolitical issues and also targeting think tanks and research institutes for more intelligence.

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The UK government has previously exposed details of other parts of the Russia intelligence service conducting cyber operations.

With the recent information provided, the UK government has managed to expose the Russian Intelligence Services Cyber Structures.

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