Cyber shock: ‘Russian hacker steals UK and US state secrets disguised as ...

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Both UK and US intelligence agencies have accused the Turla group, allegedly based in Russia, of letting an Iranian hacking outfit take the blame for a spate of cyber espionage after gaining access to its cyber tools and infrastructure and piggybacking on its hacking exploits. Paul Chichester, the NCSC's director of operations, said: “Identifying those responsible for attacks can be very difficult, but the weight of evidence points towards the Turla group being behind this campaign. We want to send a clear message that even when cyber actors seek to mask their identity, our capabilities will ultimately identify them.

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"Turla acquired access to Iranian tools and the ability to identify and exploit them to further their own aims."

Turla or Uroboros is a Trojan package that is suspected by computer security researchers and Western intelligence officers to be the product of a Russian government agency of the same name

Turla has been targeting governments and militaries since at least 2008.

In December 2014 there was evidence of it targeting the Linux operating system.

Vladimir PutinVladimir Putin (Image: GETTY)

Vladimir PutinVladimir Putin (Image: GETTY)

This advanced persistent threat hacking group has been described as "Russian spies" by Dan Goodin security editor of Ars Technica.

This gave the alleged Russia-linked actors access to the secrets of a number of governments and other entities, mainly in the Middle East, already allegedly compromised by the Iranians.

The suspected Russian hackers became so well-versed in the methods used by the group, known as APT34 or OilRig, that they were able to launch their own cyberattacks posing as the Iranians, according to the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

This meant victims that initiated investigations to find out who targeted them would more likely blame the Iran-linked group when actually the culprit was the Russia-linked group.

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