The new international research project the ‘Vulkan Files’ sheds light on the dark tactics with which Russian intelligence agencies carry out cyber attacks, deploy disinformation campaigns and prepare for attacks on important infrastructure. The Vulkan Files consist of more than 5,000 pages of confidential information leaked by a Russian cybersecurity expert, due to his displeasure over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The anonymous source passed on the documents, which mainly cover the period from 2016 to 2021, to a German reporter. “People need to know the dangers of this,” the whistleblower said.
“Because of the events in Ukraine, I decided to make this information public. The company is doing bad things, and the Russian government is cowardly and in error. I am angry about the invasion of Ukraine and the terrible things that are happening there. I hope you can use this information to show what is happening behind closed doors.”
The Russian company NTC Vulkan is at first glance a typical cybersecurity company, but the leaked documents show that the firm is fully committed to expanding Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities. The work of NTC Vulkan is linked to the Russian secret service FSB, the Russian military intelligence GRU and the Russian foreign intelligence service SVR.
Vulkan’s engineers create computer programs and databases that allow Russian intelligence agencies and hacker groups to better find vulnerabilities, coordinate attacks, and monitor online activity. The documents also suggest that the company is involved in the dissemination of disinformation, as well as created trainings to remotely disrupt real targets, such as sea, air and railway control systems.