Turkey is experiencing a surge in cybercriminal activity after thousands of Russian men, many of whom are trained software engineers, fled their country to avoid military conscription for the war in Ukraine, Financial Times reports.
Some of the newly arrived Russian hackers perpetrate low-level scams and fraud to support themselves, joining forces with established Turkish counterparts to avoid detection, launder their earnings and sell credentials stolen from computers worldwide into the European market, the report said.
The Turkish police have launched an investigation into this growing number of hacker groups comprised of both Russians and Turks. These crews employ malware to obtain sensitive data but try to avoid targeting Turkish citizens so as not to attract attention from local law enforcement.
The malware, called Redline, is likely spread via illegal websites offering video games or pirated versions of popular software. Among other things, Redline is also able to steal cookies from victims’ browsers, allowing hackers to impersonate them online and even copy their saved credit card information.
The analysis of conversations in numerous Telegram groups revealed that the Russian hackers provided training to their Turkish “colleagues” in sophisticated coding in exchange for assistance in securing better prices for stolen data.
However, despite the collaboration, the Turkish hackers prefer to remain anonymous and focus on working with talented people rather than knowing their Russian allies personally.