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tv   The Russian Hackers Wanted by...  BBC News  November 25, 2021 2:30am-3:01am GMT

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the headlines: the leaders of france and britain say they will increase efforts to prevent migrant crossings the english channel after at least 27 people drowned when their boat capsized off the coast of northern france. four suspected traffickers have been arrested on suspicion of being linked to the sinking. president biden has welcomed the verdict of a court in the us state of georgia, which found three white men guilty of murdering a young black man, ahmaud arbery, while he was outjogging. the defendants chased mr arbery before one of them shot him three times. the incoming coalition government in germany is to be led by a social democrat for the first time in 16 years. olaf scholz, who will replace angela merkel as chancellor, has pledged to make climate change his top priority.
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one of the crucial aspects of national life is the future of the scottish highlands. vast areas of the countryside are being bought by wealthy individuals keen to return the land to its natural state. they want to introduce the process of �*rewilding' and to stop what they consider ecological degradation, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity. our special correspondent allan little has been investigating. there is a juniper bush appearing, and right down here, we have a rowan that's got its orange autumnal colours on it there. across hundreds of thousands of acres, some of scotland's landowners are changing the way they use land. this is glenfeshie, where most of the deer have been culled. do that, and tree and other plant life comes back naturally. habitats and ecosystems lost to grazing for centuries are reseeding — insects, birds and mammals should follow. none of this is planted.
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this is all natural regeneration. that's why we have a 200—year vision to get this whole debate away from the here and the now, me and you, them and us. it's a 200—year vision. we are not going to be here. this is for future generations. the aim is to undo the ecological degradation inflicted by previous generations. the victorians romanticised this land as wild and unspoilt, but they turned much of scotland into shooting estates. deer for stalking laid waste to native plant and tree life. my own grandfather was a gamekeeper on a lowland estate from the 1930s to the 1970s and this is the game book from the estate. it's a meticulous record of every shoot that took place and it begins in 1847, just at the period when the victorians were turning so much of scotland over to bloodsport estates. this seems to me to be a historical artefact that bears witness to a period when human beings really thought they could bend nature
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to their own will to satisfy notjust their need for food, but also their desire for recreation and entertainment. in an age of climate crisis, can the grouse moors survive? estate managers say their land is a carbon sink where the peatland, if managed properly, locks huge quantities of carbon in the ground. this idea that nothing else happens apart from grouse shooting on grouse moors is just not true. you know, what you see is a balanced approach to managing the landscape, so that you can give the best possible chance for a wild bird to thrive, and it is only the surplus which are shot. and country sports, yes, it's a pleasure in the same way that golf and hill walking and other things which happen in scotland and are celebrated are. people come from all over the world because scotland has the best grouse shooting globally
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and that's something that we should celebrate. but the rewilders believe they are turning the page on the victorian legacy and redefining scottish land use for the climate age. there are several big renaturing projects over hundreds of thousands of acres, mostly driven by the private passions of billionaire landowners, sometimes called the green lairds. we know these landscapes are socially unjust because of the concentration of land ownership, the land inequality, so i see a lot of the landlord—driven, the green—laird driven restoration and rewilding projects as only really dealing with a small part of the problem in these landscapes. i want to see environmental restoration that also deals with the socialjustice issues of these landscapes. but for now, just as in the victorian age, it is private landlords with the power of their private wealth who are reimagining the scottish landscape in our day. allan little, bbc news, in the highlands. now on bbc news,
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the russian hackers wanted by the west: around the world, cyber citadels are crumbling. ukraine, romania, poland, kuwait, south korea, hackers are being rounded up. online too, western intelligence services are hacking back, taking criminals offline, and even retrieving some of the stolen riches. but there's one place where hackers are not being arrested. cash rich, fast cars, behaving and acting like very flamboyant and extravagant millionaires. i'm on the trail of the most wanted suspected hackers in the world. the us alleged the gang are hacking money from private bank accounts and launching
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ransomware attacks which have cost more than $100 million. hello. i'm looking for maksim. i'm from the bbc. more russians have been sanctioned and indicted for hacking than any other country. 27 russians appear on the us cyber most wanted list. if they leave the country, they will probably be arrested. but here in russia, they�* re safe. most of these men are said to have links to or work directly for the intelligence services. but there are some who are accused of being flat out cyber criminals. and instead of hiding here, they're living large, extravagant lifestyles. we're here to try and find
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them and talk to them. and we want to know whether this increasing western tactic of naming and shaming hackers is having an impact. good morning. thank you all for being here. we are here today to identify and announce charges against a russian national whom the department ofjustice alleges is responsible for two of the worst computer hacking and bank fraud schemes of the past decade. yakubets is a true 21st—century criminal who committed cyber crimes across the globe with a stroke of a key and the click of a mouse. he has earned his place on the fbi's list of the most wanted cybercriminals. with a $5 million bounty for his arrest, maksim yakubets is the most wanted alleged hacker in the world. us authorities say his hacker gang, evil corp, have stolen or extorted more than $100 million from victims around the world.
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companies, charities, even schools have been attacked. evil corp. bbc russia's cyber reporter has been working with me for months to try and trace these alleged hackers. what have you learned about yakubets? well, we have two addresses owned but him, we know where he officially worked for some time, his mother's company. he has very good cars also. and no businesses. he doesn't have any registered businesses? yeah. right, 0k. i wanted to show you something ifound. this is his wedding video. so this is the wedding venue. they got married at a golf course.
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yeah, i see. so this was here. so all of that on the grass. so all of that there just on the grass. the golf course where the wedding took place is about two hours�* drive outside of moscow. staff were happy to show us around, but did not want to go into specifics about yakubets�*s big day. wow, impressive. so this is where the newlyweds sit, have some champagne. yeah.
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this wedding is probably the most famous wedding in the history of cyber security. people have pored over that video since it was posted online, and it feels strange being here, where it actually took place. a lot of people, including newspapers, said the wedding probably cost about $250,000. but i have just discovered it could have cost at least half a million dollars, and that is just to have it here. we don't know how the wedding was paid for, but if the money did come from yakubets, it gives us an insight into how some of his alleged stolen riches are being spent.
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with e—mails and phone calls unanswered, it was time to try the moscow addresses he's registered to. 0h, here it is. buzzer rings. here we go. hello. is maksim yakubets there? as soon as i said "maksim yakubets," she hung up. hello. i'm looking for maksim yakubets. i'm from the bbc.
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maksim's father told us that the us$5 million reward for his son's arrest has led them to live in fear of attack from criminals looking to cash in. how do you think your son has become so rich? how did he afford the $600,000 wedding? no, it's too much. 0k. i haven't got the documents. so, you're telling me that your son is not a criminal, and he is not rich?
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what is his line of work? what does he do? phone rings is that maksim? no, mama. you seem very upset by the accusations of the uk and the us. we asked if we could speak to maksim, but his father claims he doesn't have any contact with him. how was that?
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wow. maksim yakubets and his accomplice have spent the last decade infecting computers worldwide... the us and uk claim to have strong enough evidence to convict ya kubets. it includes direct testimony from former gang members, cyber forensic data, and even communications from yakubets�*s personal e—mail and skype account. their cases date back so far, it includes evidence obtained by the russian police in 2010 when they were still open to helping the us investigate. the 2019 announcement named other men allegedly with evil corp. the sanctions mean they are banned from doing business with western firms and have any company assets frozen. the us has sanctioned dozens of russians, nearly all of whom are accused of working directly
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for the kremlin. and it is notjust the us. last year, the european union started to issue its first cyber sanctions. once again, it is mostly russians. the kremlin calls the allegations a diabolical cocktail and rich fantasy. for everyday russians, the sanctions are so regular now that they are largely ignored. but for cyber security professionals in russia, they provoke anger. alexandra is a professional ethical, orwhite hat, hacker. when she is not at her computer, hersecond love is motorbikes.
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like many hackers i have met, alexandra says she first got into it by playing games. everybody. they are all coming? now is our time to attack. how do you feel about the stereotype of the russian hacker?
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the highly—anticipated summit between us presidentjoe biden and his russian counterpart vladimir putin is getting under way in geneva. cyber crime was a major talking point at biden and putin's geneva summit. present biden brought up the recent ransomware attack on an oil pipeline that caused fuel shortages in the us. responsible countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory. the talks have yet to bear significant fruit. i spoke to an investigative reporterfor an independent russian news site. he was recruited. how did you know that? we know that from the documents
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of the us government. maksim yakubets and both of those guys from evil corp hacking group were announced like enemies of the state. one of my sources, an ex fsb officer, told me that he personally tried to enlist yakubets. it's actually usual practice in russia. it's easier for the fsb to enlist hackers in russia than to put them in jail. the lifestyle of yakubets�* alleged right—hand man is another sign that russia is unwilling to act on us accusations. igor is a close associate of yakubets, and serves as the system administrator. we found businesses run by him in a prestigious building in moscow's financial district. so this is where three businesses are registered.
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the building receptionist said there are no active phone lines but found a mobile number for igor turashev�*s company. after a long wait, somebody picked up. hello, i am looking to find igor turashev. that was interesting, that was actually somebody who works with turashev. yeah. i find it amazing that he is here. this is where lots of legitimate businesses are. they have offices here, but they have very good cars, good life in moscow. they are not hiding at all.
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we travel 700 kilometres east, to turashev�*s childhood town, to track him down. local reporter dmitry covered the story when turashev was accused of being a major international cybercriminal.
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despite being a seemingly legitimate businessman, then, turashev was proving elusive. we deliberately did not try to contact people facing sanctions who are thought to work for the russian intelligence services. all nations hack each other, but some allegations against russian state hackers are extreme, from electricity blackouts to attacks causing billions of dollars of damage globally. the russian government has denied all accusations, routinely laughing them off as western hysteria and russophobia. for the generals, being sanctioned is like a reward. a badge of honour? yes, a badge of honour. even if they have been caught? well, caught in what? for them, it is intelligence gathering against the enemy of the russian state. and it's notjust individuals who are being accused of hacking for the russian state.
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entire institutions and even private companies have been sanctioned, too. denis is the new ceo of positive technologies. he said he was just as shocked as the rest of the cybersecurity world when president biden accused his well—respected company of hacking for russia in april. the sanctions forced him to postpone a long—awaited ipo. it has also cut the company off from access to many western partnerships and technology. is this a punchbag? yes. did you come and punch this on the day of the sanctions? no, i didn't, because it is not my way of working out stress. the wording of the accusation is that positive technologies has worked to support the russian intelligence services�* efforts to carry out malicious cyber attacks against the us. is that something you have done?
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by double purposes, do you mean you do not allow your products to be used in offensive ways? the biden administration has also criticised the company's annual hacking conference, where hackers are invited to attack a mock city. the us claims that the event is being used as a recruitment tool for the russian intelligence services. is that an atm? yes, we take this atm, put it in the conference and ask the community, there is some money inside it, so come and get it.
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and do some of them manage to get the money? yes, every year. a lot of people came along to your hack days, and the accusation is that they were here to recruit hackers for the military. is that true? will they be invited again next year or will you start to vet people who come? but by your ticket! alexandra has competed herself in many positive hack days.
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she says they are a normal and enjoyable conference. positive technologies is not the first russian cybersecurity company to be accused of getting too close to the kremlin, and whilst we were in moscow, a breaking news event showed what can happen if a russian cybersecurity firm gets on the wrong side the kremlin. the founder of group—ib was arrested for treason. he faces up to 20 years in prison. we are going to go there now and see what we can find out. police raided the offices of group—ib overnight. officers even broke into one room to apparently access company servers. looks like a complete mirror image of what has happened to positive technologies. they are being accused by the west of working for the russian government in hacking, and now it seems like group—ib are being accused by the russian government of working for the west. it is very hard to be a cyber security company
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in this country. group—ib says it's innocent and there are few details about what ilya sachkov is accused of. many have spoken to a speech the outspoken founder made which publicly criticised russian authorities for not arresting alleged cyber criminals like yakubets. before i left russia, we tried one last address, an apartment in a luxury part of town. buzzer rings.
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a neighbour recognised a picture of turashev, but he was not interested in talking, if he was there. i think we have got as close to these people as we can. they know we are here, but they do not want to talk to us. it has been a strange process, almost uncomfortable and intrusive. we have been going to their houses, their businesses, but i have to remind myself that this is what they have been doing, allegedly, for years, they have been breaking into the private networks and computers of companies and individuals, and that's how they've, allegedly, made their fortunes.
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hello. a fresh and sunny day awaits for most on thursday after a widely cold start, a frost in places. there will be some lingering cloud, patchy drizzle from the overnight across parts of south—east and the channel islands. wintry showers continue in northern scotland. snow falling to lower levels, giving a slight covering in places. elsewhere, the odd wintry shower possible around the coast, hail, maybe a bit of sleet over any higher ground. more showers in the far north of scotland, developing a bit more widely in northern ireland throughout the day, but for most, they stay dry and sunny, and it's cold, 5—9 celsius, down on what we'd normally expected at this stage in november. but temperatures actually lift up a bit across the north and the west through thursday night into friday morning as outbreaks of rain spread in ahead of what could be quite a potent area of low pressure. it spreads its way southwards and eastward through friday and into the start of the weekend, potentially bringing not only widespread gales, but for some of you, damaging gusts of wind to take
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you through friday night and into saturday morning. and as cold air starts to dig in as well, the potential that we could see some sleet and snow in places even further south, but certainly blizzards over scottish hills.
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welcome to bbc news. i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: tragedy in the english channel as 27 people drown trying to reach the uk. it's the worst incident of its kind since the migrant crisis began. the british prime minster calls forjoint patrols with france to stop the crossings as four suspected traffickers are arrested. the poor migrants who have been coming from their country and they are so close to the dream. we, thejury, find the we, the jury, find the defendant guilty. president biden welcomes the guilty verdicts against three white men accused of murdering ahmaud arbery.
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apple warns activists its iphones are being targeted


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