Today, the UK and allies exposed the Russian Intelligence Services as being behind a number of attempts to interfere in UK politics and democratic processes.
Centre 18, a unit within Russia’s FSB, has been identified as being accountable for a range of cyber espionage operations targeting the UK, including high-profile parliamentarians and entities.
This activity has been conducted by Star Blizzard, also commonly known as Callisto Group, SEABORGIUM and COLDRIVER; a group the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ - assess are almost certainly subordinate to FSB Centre 18.
Following a National Crime Agency investigation, the UK has also today sanctioned two members of Callisto Group, aka Star Blizzard, for their involvement in the preparation of spear-phishing campaigns and associated activity that resulted in unauthorised access and exfiltration of sensitive data, which was intended to undermine UK organisations and more broadly, the UK government.
James Babbage, Director General for Threats at the National Crime Agency, said:
“The sanctions announced today are the result of a lengthy and complex investigation by the NCA, demonstrating that hostile Russian cyber actors were behind repeated, targeted attacks designed to undermine the UK.
“This action sends a clear message to criminals targeting the UK wherever in the world they may be; we know who they are, they are not immune to our action, and we will not stop in our efforts to disrupt them.
“Alongside our partners, we are determined to hold to account those who seek to threaten our national security and undermine democracy.”
7 December 2023