Technology Russia accused of hacking the phones of NATO soldiers

21:52  05 october  2017
21:52  05 october  2017 Source:

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In response to one incident, soldiers pulled SIM cards from their phones and were barred from going online beyond specific, locked-down hotspots. In this article: cyberwarfare, gear, hack , hacking , internet, military, nato , russia , security.

The incidents began in January when NATO troops noticed contacts missing from their phones . Thomson Reuters. Russia has been hacking the cellphones of NATO soldiers stationed near its border "to gain operational information, gauge troop strength and intimidate soldiers ," according to

  Russia accused of hacking the phones of NATO soldiers © Provided by Engadget Russia's digital warfare campaign isn't limited to targeting distant servers. The Wall Street Journal has learned that Russian hackers are targeting individual NATO soldiers near, such as those deployed to Poland and the Baltic states.

The intruders are compromising phones or Facebook accounts, in some cases grabbing data from handsets and erasing contacts. And while the Russian government has historically denied involvement in any hacking campaign, officials have little doubt that it's behind the attacks.

Western forces note that the efforts are not only very well-coordinated, but that the equipment involved is likely too sophisticated for criminals. A probe spotted a portable antenna used to compromise phones, for example, while drones are also part of the campaign.

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U.S. Officials Have Accused Russia Of Hacking Into The Smartphones Of NATO Soldiers . L’Heureux said that at least six soldiers directly under his command had also seen their phones and Facebook accounts hacked .

NATO officials believe that Russia is allegedly hacking phones of alliance military personnel. As it became known to The Wall Street Journal, NATO soldiers serving at the borders of Poland and the Baltic countries become victims of hackers .

Even the way soldiers learn of the hacks hints at an official Russian campaign: American soldiers have had strangers (likely Russian agents) come up to them mentioning details of their personal lives.

It's relatively easy to defeat these campaigns. In response to one incident, soldiers pulled SIM cards from their phones and were barred from going online beyond specific, locked-down hotspots. Estonian recruits are barred from using smartphones during operations.

How serious are these breaches, though? Given that the attacks have done very little damage or are harvesting info that's already public, officials believe they're primarily intended as a form of intimidation: we're watching you.

They may also be a way of finding out whether or not troop levels at a given base are larger than NATO claimed on the record. The concern is that there may be a time where these hacks deal serious damage.

A hacked phone might serve as a Trojan horse if it connects to a secure network, for starters. Either way, the discoveries could have armies rethinking their smartphone policies to eliminate even the slightest risk of hacking attempts on the front lines.

Wall Street Journal

NATO chief: 'We don't want a new Cold War' with Russia .
NATO doesn't want a "new Cold War" with Russia despite members' concerns about the Russian military buildup close to NATO's border, the alliance's secretary general said Monday. Jens Stoltenberg was speaking at the end of a four-day NATO parliamentary assembly in the Romanian capital, Bucharest."We are concerned by .... (Russia's) lack of transparency when it comes to military exercises," he said.He mentioned a Russian-Belarus operation in September involving thousands of troops, tanks and aircraft held in Belarus, on NATO's eastern edge.

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