ST PETERSBURG, Russia – After initially hoping to quickly complete his mission to steal the personal data of thousands of American veterans, Russian Military Intelligence (GRU) cyberterrorist Sacha Volkhov has instead found himself stuck for months trying to compromise the byzantine Veterans Affairs computer network. The operative’s frustrations were compounded today when he received notification that his intrusion attempts were to be delayed an additional six months.
“This is a nightmare,” complained Sacha. “I’m simply trying to serve my country, and I have to deal with this kind of bureaucratic nonsense? I’ve been trying to hack my way into the VA’s outdated and overloaded systems since January.”
Although a member of Russia’s elite clandestine cyberterrorism task force, Sacha admits he dreaded this latest mission as soon as he received his orders at the end of 2019.
“The VA’s convoluted systems are world-famous,” he admitted. “I also knew that, with the VA, nothing is ever easy, whether it’s resolving a claim or hacking into their network.”
“Plus, that claims backlog. Wow, what a downer.”
In an email to an unidentified Russian Military Intelligence contact, Sacha detailed his woes.
“I did everything right. I came prepared with dozens of passwords I had phished from VA leaders, as well as stolen military identification and retirement paperwork,” he said. “I should have been able to immediately access a root directory or at least a dashboard that would point me to where I needed to go. But instead, I got a notice that the system is overloaded. What the hell? Was this system designed in the Eighties?”
Sacha then tried nearly every day for months to navigate a series of barely intelligible prompts that seemed to point him from one system to another, then to another, then right back to the first place he had started.
“I cannot believe that, after all the hoops I’ve jumped through that I may have to wait another half a year,” said Sacha. “I really hope they hurry up. My friend Dimitri was in a similar situation. But he waited so long for his hacking to go through that his career died before the VA network ever got back to it. That happens more often than you think.”