Ukraine remains Russia’s biggest cyber focus in 2023

FROZENBARENTS (aka Sandworm), a group attributed to Russian Armed Forces’ Main Directorate of the General Staff (GRU) Unit 74455, continues to focus heavily on the war in Ukraine with campaigns spanning intelligence collection, IO, and leaking hacked data through Telegram.

As we described in the Fog of War report, FROZENBARENTS remains the most versatile GRU cyber actor with offensive capabilities including credential phishing, mobile activity, malware, external exploitation of services, and beyond. They target sectors of interest for Russian intelligence collection including government, defense, energy, transportation/logistics, education and humanitarian organizations.

FROZENBARENTS continues to exploit EXIM mail servers globally and use these compromised hosts as part of their operational network, a trend going back to at least August 2019. These compromised hosts have been observed accessing victim networks, interacting with victim accounts, sending malicious emails and engaged in information operations (IO) activity.

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