Cyber crime group found after 12-year spree

Cyber crime group found after 12-year spree

Security experts have uncovered a cyber crime operation taking place across Europe that managed to target over 300 government agencies, corporations and banks undetected for over  12 years.

The team of hackers known as ‘Harkonnen Operation’ took advantage of a UK loophole that enabled it to infiltrate, before placing Trojans in, institutions in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, accessing confidential and sensitive data.

Jonathan Gad, chief executive from Elite Cyber Solutions, said in a blog article that German attackers heading the network had complete control of the computers that were targeted and had been able to continue to their espionage for such a long period without being discovered.

Gad said in the post:

“At this point we are aware of the extent of the Harkonnen Operation, but the damage to the organisations that have been victims – in terms of loss of valuable data, income or the exposure of information related to employees and customers – is immeasurable.”

Trojans siphoning vital data were found right away and an investigation resulted in the breach being discovered, revealing that a UK firm registered the original URL.

The digital footprints of the cyber criminals have been revealed and the targeted firms are working with the police in Germany to find them.

High-level hackers will be unlikely target SMEs as they have, what they perceive to be, bigger fish to fry. However, cyber crime is a disease that appears to be spreading, and cyber security jobs can be expected to be an increasingly importance role within UK businesses.

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