The Channel logo


By | John Leyden 31st January 2008 12:05

Russian FSB 'protecting' Storm Worm gang

Prosecution on ice

The creators of the Storm Worm botnet are known to US authorities but a lack of co-operation from their counterparts in St. Petersburg, Russia, is preventing action being taken.

St. Petersburg was the centre of the infamous Russian Business Network. It's also reckoned by some to be the city the Storm Worm (more properly Trojan) authors call home.

Dmitri Alperovitch director of intelligence analysis and hosted security at Secure Computing told The Washington Post that Russian President Vladimir Putin and political influence within the Federal Security Service (Russia's successor to the Soviet KGB) was hampering prosecution efforts. The implication is that elements of Russian intelligence agencies are protecting the city's cybercriminals.

"The right people now know who the Storm worm authors are," Alperovitch said. 'It's incredibly hard because a lot of the FSB leadership and Putin himself originate from there, where there are a great deal of people with connections in high places."

Other security experts reckon that the Storm Worm gang are based in Russia but have no real idea of their location, much less their identities. David Emm, senior technology consultant at Kaspersky Lab UK, said coding similarities and packing techniques used with the worm suggest the authors of the malware and Russian hackers known to have attacked local websites are one and the same. Kaspersky, like antivirus firm F-Secure, reckons that the Storm Worm gang is a multinational effort based in Russia.

"We don't know who they are," said F-Secure chief research officer Mikko Hyppönen, "but we believe it's a Russian gang with an American or several Americans helping them to build the social engineering messages and the websites they use." ®

comment icon Read 16 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe