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Mandiant Finds Possible Link Between Kremlin, Pro-Russian ‘Hacktivists’

US officials and allies have warned about attacks from XakNet and related groups.

Ukrainian tanks in Kyiv during a military parade on August 24, 2018, to celebrate the Independence Day, 27 years since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union. 

Ukrainian tanks in Kyiv during a military parade on August 24, 2018, to celebrate the Independence Day, 27 years since Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union. 

Photographer: Genya Savilov/AFP

A pro-Russian “hacktivist” outfit that targeted Ukraine and its allies may be tied to the Kremlin, according to preliminary research from a US-based cybersecurity firm.

Mandiant Inc. told Bloomberg News that Russian intelligence operatives were likely behind a recent breach of an unnamed organization, resulting in the theft of data. Information stolen in that breach wound up in the hands of  XakNet, a pro-Russian “hacktivist” group that’s previously denied it’s government-affiliated. Mandiant declined to identify the victim organization.