The political malware attacks that have plagued numerous governments and other organizations within them has been uncovered as a cyber-espionage group, operating out of Russian and by the command of the Russian government, according to new reports.

“In a report issued today, researchers at F-Secure provided an in-depth look at an organization labelled by them as ‘the Dukes,’ which has been active since at least 2008 and has evolved into a methodical developer of ‘zero-day’ attacks, pulling together their own research with the published work of other security firms to provide a more detailed picture of the people behind a long-running family of malware,” according to Arstechnica.

The group was considered to be heavy in resources, organized and dedicated to their targets. The attacks ranged from short term “smash and grab” attacks as well as secretive hacks where they uncovered large amounts of foreign governments data while flying under the radar, according to the report.

“The Dukes primarily target Western governments and related organizations, such as government ministries and agencies, political think tanks and governmental subcontractors,” said the F-Secure team in their report.

“Their targets have also included the governments of members of the Commonwealth of Independent States; Asian, African, and Middle Eastern governments; organizations associated with Chechen terrorism; and Russian speakers engaged in the illicit trade of controlled substances and drugs.”

The F-Secure team deduced that based on the information being plundered the only benefactor is a government. If this is true it could spur even more governments to take their own action and hire their own group of cyber hackers. The danger would be a cyber war that could change the way cybersecurity is seen across the world.

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