Britain says Russian military intelligence behind host of global cyber attacks

Britain says Russian military intelligence behind host of global cyber attacks

Britain's National Cyber Security Center said Thursday that four new attacks are associated with the GRU as well as earlier security hacks.

However in Washington, the US Department of Justice said it had indicted seven suspected GRU officers for "malicious cyber activities" against the US and its allies - including some of those named in connection with the OPCW attack.

Dutch and British officials have named four Russians they say are agents in a GRU intelligence cyber warfare team.

It also revealed that the agents had also made searches for the OPCW-affiliated Spiez laboratory in Switzerland - which the Swiss last month said had been targeted by Russian Federation.

"The Government of Canada assesses with high confidence that the Russian military's intelligence arm, the GRU, was responsible for this incident".

Earlier Thursday, British intelligence said it's linked several cyberattacks, including meddling in the 2016 election, to the GRU, the Russian spy agency also accused in the novichok poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal this year.

The coordinated actions by both countries came hours before an expected US indictment involving Russian attempts to hack into computer systems. Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the plane's destruction, which led to the deaths of many Dutch citizens.

The OPCW was at the time probing the nerve agent poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in the English town of Salisbury, and an alleged chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma by the Moscow-backed regime in Damascus.

The men had planned to travel on to a laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland used by the OPCW to analyse samples, Dutch Major-General Onno Eichelsheim said.

"With its aggressive cyber-campaigns, we see the GRU trying to clean up Russia's own mess - be it the doping uncovered by Wada [the World Anti-Doping Agency] or the nerve agent identified by the OPCW", Mr Wilson said.

US Secretary of Defence James Mattis speaks during a news conference after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.


The hackers allegedly used code names to hide their identities, such as "Sandworm", "Fancy Bear" and the "Sofacy Group".

Three of the seven officials that are named in this specific indictment were also named by Mueller as interfering in the 2016 USA election.

Adding insult to Russia's privacy pratfall, the European Union is considering the introduction of a sanctions regime similar to the US Magnitsky Act that could be enacted as soon as May 2019.

"This is not the actions of a great power".

The United States indicted seven alleged Russian members of the GRU military intelligence agency for targeting the Hague-based OPCW, the US Democratic party, world sports bodies and US nuclear energy company Westinghouse.

The Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, according to the USA officials.

"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", Demers told a news conference.

The United States Department of Justice has charged Russian military intelligence officers with worldwide hacking offences.

GRU stands for the Main Intelligence Directorate, Russia's military intelligence agency which is one of Moscow's three spy agencies along with the FSB security service and the SVR foreign intelligence agency.

"Such statements by the Foreign Office are nothing but crude disinformation, aimed at confusing the British and world public opinion", they said in a statement.

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