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Headquarters of Yandex company. Photo: ALEXANDER NEMENOV / Contributor/Getty Images

Last year, a "Five Eyes" nation — either the United States or one of its 4 closest intelligence partners — may have hacked Yandex, the Russian equivalent to Google, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The goal appears to have been to find technical details on how Yandex users are authenticated, which could prove useful for breaking into accounts to read or modify messages, observe contacts or other such activities.

The backdrop: The Five Eyes nations — the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia and New Zealand — share intelligence and intelligence gathering capabilities.

  • Regin, the malware that was used in the Yandex operation, is used by Five Eyes nations. It is sophisticated malware with swappable components that have been used in the field since at least 2008.

Details: Reuters sites 4 people with knowledge on the matter.

  • A Yandex spokesperson told Reuters: “This particular attack was detected at a very early stage by the Yandex security team. It was fully neutralized before any damage was done.”
  • Reuters provided one detail attributing the attack to Five Eyes: The attack uses new code inside of Regin, so it seems less likely to be another hacker co-opting the malware for its own devices.
  • It is unclear which nation would have been responsible for the hacking.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists — National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
  5. Cities: Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. World: London police arrest dozens during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.

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