Russian spy who hacked Democrats in 2016 has allegedly been compromised, according to Ukrainian hackers
Russian spy who hacked Democrats in 2016 has allegedly been compromised, according to Ukrainian hackers

Washington: According to Ukrainian hackers, a senior Russian military spy who is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for hacking the Hillary Clinton campaign and other top US Democrats prior to Donald Trump's election as president in 2016 had his emails hacked.

Lt. Col. Sergey Morgachev, who was charged in 2018 with aiding in the planning of the hack and leak of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign, was the subject of a message posted to Telegram on Monday by a group going by the name of Cyber Resistance. They claimed to have stolen correspondence from him.

While Reuters was unable to independently verify the claim right away, some of Morgachev's alleged personal information, which the hackers allegedly shared with the Ukrainian newspaper InformNapalm, corresponds with data that has already been exposed and is being held by the cybersecurity research platform Constella Intelligence.

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The leak "looks pretty credible," according to Stefan Soesanto, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich who has studied Ukrainian hacking groups, noting that InformNapalm had a history of cross-checking the information it obtained from hackers.

In a report on the hack, InformNapalm claimed that it had verified Morgachev's identity by sifting through personnel records and a curriculum vitae that had been stolen by the hackers. One of the documents revealed that he was a department head in Unit 26165, the same position that the FBI had identified for him.

Repeated emails and calls to a number allegedly belonging to Morgachev went unanswered, and Reuters' attempts to contact him via social media and at his allegedly current job at the sanctioned Special Technology Center in Saint Petersburg were unsuccessful at first. Both the FBI and the Russian Embassy in Washington did not respond to messages right away.

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It wasn't immediately clear what data the hackers had obtained or how important it was. Morgachev's inbox might contain information about Russian hacking activities, such as the operation against Clinton and the Democrats.

He was referred to as an officer in the GRU, the old acronym for the Russian military spy agency, in the FBI's indictment. The "X-Agent" spy programme used to hack the DNC was among the malware that his department was "dedicated to developing and managing," according to the statement.

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The Cyber Resistance group, one of several Ukrainian hacker gangs that have gained international notoriety since Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, could not be reached right away by Reuters.
The group described Morgachev as "a very cool and clever hacker, but... We hacked him" in its message announcing the theft.

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