Sourced : The Wall Street Journal

By Thomas Grove in Tapa, Estonia, Julian E. Barnes in Brussels and Drew Hinshaw in Orzysz, Poland

Russia has opened a new battlefront with NATO, according to Western military officials, by exploiting a point of vulnerability for almost all allied soldiers: their personal smartphones.

Troops, officers and government officials of North Atlantic Treaty Organization member countries said Russia has carried out a campaign to compromise soldiers’ smartphones. The aim, they say, is to gain operational information, gauge troop strength and intimidate soldiers.

The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment. Russian officials deny that Moscow stages such attacks.

U.S. and other Western officials said they have no doubt Russia is behind the campaign. They said its nature suggests state-level coordination, and added that the equipment used, such as sophisticated drones equipped with surveillance electronics, is beyond the reach of most civilians.

The campaign has targeted the contingent of 4,000 NATO troops deployed this year to Poland and the Baltic states to protect the alliance’s European border with Russia, as tensions with Moscow are on the rise, Western military officials said.

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