Mandiant Founder: Russia Responsible for Financial Breaches

Russia is behind the recent spate of cyber-attacks on financial institutions, claims cybersecurity expert Kevin Mandia, the founder of Mandiant Security.

Kevin Mandia. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Kevin Mandia. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Mandia is currently in Australia ahead of this week’s G20 meeting in Brisbane, where Vladimir Putin will be in attendance. Mandia has accused Russia of sponsoring the cyber-attacks that recently rocked US finance, such as the JPMorgan Chase incident.

“The Russians are much more aggressive right now across the board – both government and criminal elements – and we’re having a tough time distinguishing between the two,” said Mandia, in a report from The Australian Financial Review. He is currently in the capital Canberra to consult with government officials, according to the report.

Mandia added that he was “certain the Russian government was condoning the compromises”. He said that there were a number of motives, including the Snowden leaks, the Ukraine crisis, and Western sanctions on Russia.

Russia’s embassy in Australia has yet to respond to the Financial Review’s request for comment.

Mandia continued:

“It stretches credulity that Russian law enforcement and intelligence services, who monitor a hell of a lot of what their people do online, are not aware of what Russian hackers are doing.”

The founder also commented on recent allegations against Chinese hackers targeting Western institutions too. “[B]ecause there are no repercussions for China and Russia hacking the West, the problem is just going to get worse,” he said in the interview.

“Russian criminals used to go for the low hanging fruit” … “Now they’re going for the best retail and financial services brands in business – the folks that actually have the good security. And that’s surprising.”