Exclusive interview with the Powerful Greek Army (PGA) hacker group

Pierluigi Paganini February 03, 2022

Six years ago the Powerful Greek Army (PGA) appeared in the threat landscape. After a long breach the hacker collective is back. I have interviewed them in exclusive … enjoy it!

Tell me about your hacker team, which is the motivation behind the attacks?

We have many motivations and reasons. First of all, we started by selecting random targets from different countries, not just Greece, Greece was only at the back of our minds. Our old Twitter account, which was suspended, had pretty much many attacks on government agencies, corporations, educational institutions, ministries, and many, many other things around the world (which we still do, just on a smaller scale).

How were you born and approximately how many you are?

We were founded in 2016, when the hacking scene, and especially on Twitter, was basically dead, at the time only a few teams were around, completely randomly. We then started talking to some of these teams and making good relationships which we maintain to this day. We (founder) wanted to find a team, which will compete with other teams. In the beginning, we didn’t of course have a national character, as we do not after all, although at least we (the founder) is based in Greece and since we use a Greek name, even tho many times we set targets that have a problem with Greece. We were inactive for many years, for example, we stopped in 2017 and after 2-3 years we came back in 2020, because all of us have been around and done things that only a few people can imagine, with different and many alias and nicknames. Of course, I will not go into deep water, but that’s one of the reasons, if not the main one, that we have been so inactive. Now, moving on to the second part of the question, our number is from 5 to 20.

How do you select your victims? Do you conduct opportunistic attacks or do you choose specific targets and work until you hack them?

Lately, we select our victims based on operations going around the world, and as I previously said, no we do not have specific targets. I think that if we have the time to try, we can breach almost anything that is vulnerable/able to get hacked, and I think that should apply even for a very mediocre hacker, since if you find the vulnerabilities somewhere, you can easily take advantage of them and exploit them. Last but not least, nothing is safe on the internet. After all, we are young people, there are people with more knowledge, but who may have less experience, and who do not deal with these things because they see them illegally. (or even find them childish and boring).

Which is your most clamorous successful attack? Why?

We have attacked many things. Most of the attacks haven’t been covered. For example, our last targets, which most of them were conducted in basically one month, are the Ministry of Foreign affairs of North Macedonia, Makedonski Telekom, the National Bank of North Macedonia, Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Finance, the Bank of Nigeria, the National Bank of North Macedonia, and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense. Last but not least, we have also hacked the Ministry of Education and Science of North Macedonia, and have access to even their camera systems, something which will be published really soon.

Which is your biggest failure?

I think that our biggest failure was when some of our members were left alone and got arrested. Most of them went to jail for several years, but not for hacking.

Are you members all based in Greece? How is the hacking community in your country?

No, only a few of our members are Greek. We are a really mixed group. That’s why Greek hackers are all either hidden or very simply do not exist (Although I hope the first one is the answer because Greek minds are all around the world). For so many years we have found very few Greeks, and have searched literally everywhere for them. We would really like Greeks who can help. It is a real desire, and I hope that those who can see it will contact us. I tell you for sure that if we had Greeks, they would make up 90% of the team, if not all. Now, the hacking community in our country is basically dead and has been for multiple years. That’s also one of the main reasons we never associated with Greece. The only people who did something, and who raised their heads, as a “response of Greece” to the Turkish threat, as they could, even with a few people, and the only Greek group we have helped in attacks, are our really really good friends, Anonymous Greece. Finally, I would like to point out that of course we love our country, but at the same time we are some kind of internationalists. In the good sense of course. Your history makes you Greek, and not the state. We are not internationalists in the communist sense at all. Actually, I could say that we are more patriots and less internationalists.

Do you fear the action of law enforcement?

Of course, we do. Although I do not think anything will happen soon. In various articles it has been heard such as that investigations were carried out after our attacks in various countries. I hope that this research did not result in being watched by some agency. We take appropriate measures so that the authorities can not access our data and personal belongings. Finally, in this connection, I would like to say that everything is monitored, and citizens should be protected. Unfortunately, governments are pressuring and monitoring even ordinary citizens. We can get caught at any time.

Which is the best hacking forum/community at this time?

The underground hacking forums are the best at this time, and in my honest opinion, have always been. We also used to have a .onion forum, where we posted our leaks for some time, instead of Twitter. Sadly, we stopped it, after the suspension of our Twitter account.

Which are the most dangerous hacking crews in the threat landscape and why?

I think that the most dangerous hacking crews in the threat landscape are those who aren’t loud. Ransomware gangs can be extremely dangerous, since these people, even though it requires no skill to write ransomware, really go for the money and not for their hobby or even for the fame, and take huge risks. I feel that every day the number of hackers decreases around the world, at a time when they are needed more than ever. I think that all hackers should be united as one.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Powerful Greek Army)

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