According to Wall Street Journal, a group of state-funded hackers from Moscow have launched a campaign against the 4,000 NATO military troops including US soldiers located in Eastern Europe. The plan is to hack into the smartphones of each and every soldier in order to keep a tab on force strength.
The post published in the news resource says that Russia was hacking into the phones through drones and other surveillance equipment. And the troops remained unaware of this situation until last month.
Security experts suggest that snooping gives Russia hackers an edge to sneak into the operational information as well as personal details of the soldiers that can be used for intimidation in coming days.
The journal says that the equipment used to carry out such snooping activities was highly sophisticated and was specifically architected to act as rogue access points to apparently track or hijack smartphone devices.
Wall Street Journal published the article based on the tip-off given by Zimperium, a Dallas based mobile security firm.
In July this year, the Government Accountability Office issued a report that military personnel is at high risk of being hacked.
The Department of Defense immediately reacted and added that smartphones used by high-grade military officers are at a risk of getting loaded with rogue applications which leak data on the devices to remote servers.
DOD is yet to react on this issue of Russian intelligence breaking into the smartphones of NATO forces. But a high-level officer who likes to be anonymous said that the agency has already taken steps to curb Russian snooping on their military personnel by asking their soldiers to not connect to any network for at least 30 days. In the meantime, DOD is taking steps to offer a highly encrypted network service to their NATO personnel via satellite.
More details are awaited!