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Suspected DNC & German Parliament Hacker Used His Name As His Email Password

from the opsec-yo dept

You may have seen the news reports this week that German prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Dmitry Badin for a massive hack of the German Parliament that made headlines in 2016. The reports about the German arrest warrant all mention that German authorities "believe" that Badin is connected to the Russian GRU and its APT28 hacking group.

The folks over at Bellingcat have done their open source intelligence investigation thing, and provided a ton of evidence to show that Badin almost certainly is part of GRU... including the fact that he registered his 2018 car purchase to the public address of a GRU building. This is not the first time this has happened. A few years back, Bellingcat also connected a bunch of people to the GRU -- including some accused of hacking by the Dutch government -- based on leaked car registration info.

There's much, much more in the Bellingcat report, but the final paragraph really stands out. Bellingcat also found Badin -- again, a hacker who is suspected in multiple massive and consequential hacks, including of email accounts -- didn't seem to be all that careful with his own security:

The most surreal absence of “practice-what-you-breach” among GRU hackers might be visible in their lackadaisical attitude to their own cyber protection. In 2018, a large collection of hacked Russian mail accounts, including user name and passwords, was dumped online. Dmitry Badin’s email — which we figured out from his Skype account, which we in turn obtained from his phone number, which we of course got from his car registration — had been hacked. He had apparently been using the password Badin1990. After this, his email credentials were leaked again as part of a larger hack, where we see that he had changed his password from Badin1990 to the much more secure Badin990.

Yes, the password for at least one of his email accounts... was apparently his own last name and the year he was born. The cobbler's kids go shoeless again.

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Filed Under: apt28, dmitry badin, dnc, dnc emails, email, germany, gru, hacking, opsec, passwords, podesta emails, russia


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  1. identicon
    Anon, 6 May 2020 @ 1:01pm

    Common Registration technique

    IIRC one of the guys who poisoned the Russian ex-agent in Britain (and his daughter) was outed with among other things, proof that he'd registered his car to a GRU office despite claims he was not connected with them.

    Is there a benefit to sending local police looking to collect on outstanding traffic tickets to the address of the GRU?


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