Hacker network exposed: First indications of backers
The hacker group “Double-Spider” made a name for itself by attacking critical infrastructure in Europe. After the backers could be exposed, the police are now looking for their whereabouts.
After the backers of the “Double-Spider” hacker group were uncovered, the investigators received the first clues as to who they were looking for. However, a key tip was not yet there, said a spokeswoman for the State Criminal Police Office of North Rhine-Westphalia in Düsseldorf today.
A special unit of NRW cybercrime investigators had obtained arrest warrants against three suspected masterminds of an international network of cybercriminals who are said to be responsible for spectacular hacker attacks worldwide.
The suspects are accused of, among other things, the attack on the Düsseldorf University Hospital, the Funke media group and the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district, which had therefore declared the disaster.
Hackers have ties to Russia
One of the suspects, the 41-year-old Russian Igor T., is said to have taken part in a hacking competition by the Wagner mercenary group at the end of last year. He is also wanted by the FBI.
“In the case of individuals in this group of perpetrators, we also see references and connections to the Russian domestic secret service FSB and the paramilitary mercenary group Wagner,” said North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU).
Even if the deeds were for personal enrichment, it is reasonable to assume that they would at least be tolerated by the state. In addition, it cannot be ruled out that the skimmed data and funds will also be used for government purposes.
Simran Mann, IT security expert at the digital association Bitkom, referred today to the increase in hacker attacks from Russia. The fact that the criminal groups there could also pursue political goals is made clear by the institutions attacked: the state administration, a media group and a university – this could also be interpreted as an attack on the foundations of democracy.
Other hacker groups immediately stopped their attack and apologized when told they had attacked a hospital, Mann said.
The three suspects Igor T. (41), Irina Z. (36) and Igor G. (32) are wanted worldwide. They are on national and international wanted lists such as “Europe’s most wanted”. For the “Double-Spider” case, the NRW investigative group “Parker” had made almost 100 requests for legal assistance, including to Russia. The name Parker is a reference to “Spiderman” character Peter Parker.