Russian Federation accused of 'brazen' cyber-crimes

05 October, 2018, 11:29 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Logo for Russia's GRU intelligence agency

After an unsuccessful remote attack, four Russian intelligence officers reportedly traveled to The Hague as part of a "cleanup" unit.

The September charged two Russian nationals over that gas attack, which both Skripal and his daughter survived.

Russian officials portrayed the allegations as part of an anti-Russian campaign meant to entrench Moscow's reputation as an enemy.

The Russian foreign ministry accused the West of "spy mania" over the latest allegations of cyber.

The head of the Netherlands' Defense Intelligence and Security Service, Maj.

The United States on Thursday charged seven Russian intelligence officers with conspiring to hack computers and steal data from the nuclear energy company Westinghouse Electric Co as well as anti-doping watchdogs, sporting federations and an global agency probing the use of chemical weapons.

"Nations like Russian Federation and others that engage in malicious and norm-shattering cyber and influence activities should understand the continuing and steadfast resolve of the United States and its allies to prevent, disrupt and deter such unaccountable conduct", Mr. Demers told a news conference.

The targets allegedly included a small UK TV station, the US Democratic National Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), as well as a Bad Rabbit ransomware attack which swept across Russia and Europe in October a year ago, affecting a Ukranian metro line, Odessa airport, a Russian central bank and two Russian media outlets.

The Russians set up in the Marriott Hotel next door to the OPCW and took photos, while parking the auto at the hotel with the boot facing the OPCW, he said.

"We will be discussing with our allies what further sanctions should be imposed", he said.

Prosecutors say some of those accused were also involved in the thwarted hacking of the worldwide chemical watchdog in the Netherlands, revealed by Dutch authorities earlier. "As is traditional, it is not backed by any proof and is another element in an anti-Russian campaign being conducted by the British government".

What have the other countries said?

John Demers, US assistant attorney general for national security, confirmed that known attack targets included the OPCW, FIFA, Wada and Westinghouse.

As part of this conspiracy, these seven officers allegedly hacked into the accounts of anti-doping officials from various agencies in order to steal information and disseminate it in order to tarnish their reputation.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis talks with Supreme Allied Commander Europe U.S. Army general Curtis Scaparrotti during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 4, 2018.

Seven Russian military intelligence officers with hacking anti-doping agencies and other organizations, the Justice Department announced at a press conference Thursday.

Russian hackers' activities were exposed following the seizure of laptops from four suspects briefly detained in the Netherlands.

The report claims that apart from WADA, Ukrainian companies, the Democratic Party in the United States and a small British television station were also targets of the hacker attacks.

They hired a auto and parked it in the vehicle park of the Marriot hotel in The Hague, which is next to the OPCW office, to hack into the OPCW's wifi network, Major General Onno Eichelsheim from the Dutch MIVD intelligence service said.

Britain helped the Netherlands with the operation, they added.

"The use of bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds", it said.

When the men were intercepted they tried to destroy one of the mobile phones they were carrying.

They never made it.

The men were caught and expelled from the Netherlands.

The men were named as Alexei Morenetz and Yevgeny Serebriakov, the main "cyber-operators", as well as Oleg Sotnikov and Alexei Minin who were support staff.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said Russian military intelligence (GRU) used a network of hackers to undermine administrations.

London has accused two of GRU's officers of poisoning former double-agent Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March, using a perfume bottle containing the powerful nerve agent Novichok.

Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld said that the GRU's alleged hacking attempts on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons took place in April and were disrupted by authorities.

"This was not an isolated act", British Ambassador Peter Wilson to the Netherlands said at a briefing about the espionage on Thursday.

What was on their computer?

A laptop belonging to one of the four was linked to Brazil, Switzerland and Malaysia.

"They were trying to commit a close access hack operation", he said. A group of global inspectors had determined that a Russian missile had shot the plane out of the sky.


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