Russian news agency Interfax faces `unprecedented' hacker attack

 24 Oct 2017 - 20:53

Russian news agency Interfax faces `unprecedented' hacker attack
The conference room at the press ofice of Interfax in Moscow (Wikimedia Commons)

Ilya Khrennikov & Stepan Kravchenko / Bloomberg

Russian business newswire Interfax suffered a hacker attack that made part of its services unavailable to subscribers, according to a statement Tuesday.

Engineers are working to restore access to services after the news service faced an “unprecedented virus attack,” Interfax director Yuri Pogorely said on his Facebook page.

At least three Russian media outlets were attacked with a ransomware virus called Badrabbit, according to Moscow-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB, which declined to name all of the targets.

“It also counted state institutions and strategic objects in Ukraine as its victims,” Group-IB said of the attack on media outlets on its Telegram channel.

Blamed by the U.S. for hacking its election last year, Russia has itself been targeted by cybercriminals recently. Wireless carrier MegaFon PJSC and government entities suffered ransomware breaches in May, according to state television. In September, hackers used IP-telephony to issue fake bombs alerts, which lead to the evacuation of 400,000 people from malls, schools and other buildings.

The virus affected “some of the servers, working stations and mail servers,” Ilya Sachkov, Group-IB founder, said about the attacks. “Operations totally halted in some of the affected companies and somewhere this led to a halt of the work of web resources.”