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Washington announced that it had neutralized Russian spyware used for 20 years

The United States announced on Tuesday that it had managed to neutralize Russian spyware dubbed “Snake”, which has been the source of numerous attacks against NATO member states over the past 20 years.

Operation Medusa interrupted this program, which allowed Russia’s security services (FSB) to “steal hundreds of sensitive documents in at least 50 countries,” notably by attacking government IT departments or the media, according to a statement. From the US Department of Justice.

“Thanks to a high-tech operation that turned this Russian malware against itself, US law enforcement agencies neutralized one of Russia’s most sophisticated tools of cyber-espionage,” said Deputy Minister Judge Lisa Monaco.

Deputy Minister of Justice Lisa Monaco | France Press agency

According to US authorities, the program was directed from an FSB unit called “Turla”, which is based in Ryazan, Russia. It can locate and steal documents and remain undetected indefinitely. Turla agents stole this data using the global network of infected computers.

After studying this program for many years, the US Federal Police succeeded in creating a tool, called Perseus, that is able to communicate with the Adder and order it to be shut down without involving the host computer.

In 2018, the German authorities revealed that they had been subjected to an unprecedented attack that the media attributed to the “Snake” program, also known as “Uroboros” or “Turla”.

Victims have also been identified in Belgium, Ukraine, the United States and Georgia.