Western Intelligence Agency Behind Cyberattack on Russia’s Yandex Last Year: Report

A “Five Eyes” nation — either the United States or one of its 4 closest intelligence partners — has conducted a cyberattack on Russia’s biggest Internet company in December, Yandex, Reuters reported citing sources.

The company, often called “Russia’s Google” because of its offerings of search, mail and taxi services, has confirmed on Thursday that it was subject to a cyberattack in December but said no user data was compromised.

The attack was caught at an early stage and “neutralized” it before any damage could be done, Yandex said.

While major Internet companies are regularly subject to cyberattacks, Reuters reported this particular hack was undertaken by individuals working for Western intelligence agencies.

The hackers installed a rare type of malware used by Western intelligence agencies in an attempt to spy on users, the agency said, citing unidentified sources. U.S. security agencies declined to comment.

Moscow-based Yandex is publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York.

The report is the second this month of western cyberattacks against Russia. The New York Times reported June 15 that the U.S. has been carrying out digital incursion of Russia’s electric power grid.

The United States last year accused Russia of a series of digital incursions against U.S. critical infrastructure, including power plants.

Earlier this year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections, including hacking into computer networks.