Netherlands says thwarted Russian cyber attack on chemical weapons watchdog

Mikhail Svetlov via Getty Images               The NCSC has judged the Kremlin is behind the actions of the GRU

Mikhail Svetlov via Getty Images The NCSC has judged the Kremlin is behind the actions of the GRU

The GRU, also known as the Main Intelligence Directorate, is the intelligence arm of the Russian military. "These defendants must be held accountable for their crimes".

Yermakov, Malyshev, and Badin were among the 12 GRU officers indicted in July this year by Mueller, over alleged interference in the United States polls of 2016.

The UK joined with the Netherlands in accusing Russian Federation of sending agents with wifi antennas to The Hague to try to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

A newly-published indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice charges seven alleged Russian intelligence agents with using cryptocurrencies as part of a broad "influence and disinformation" scheme.

Demers declined to comment on whether there are additional hacking concerns with the upcoming US mid-term elections.

According to a Justice Department press release, a grand jury in Pennsylvania sent the indictment, which says that beginning around December 2014 and up through May 2018, the operatives conducted sophisticated computer hacking operations that affected people in the USA, corporations, worldwide organizations and their employees around the world, "based on their strategic interest to the Russian government". The Dutch also found mobile phones on the men that had been activated near the Moscow headquarters of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency. The United States had already linked the Russians to the 2016 hacking of the Democratic Party, in which emails and chats were posted online.

The GRU's actions are reckless and indiscriminate: they try to undermine and interfere in elections in other countries.

European Union officials said in a statement Russia's "aggressive act demonstrated contempt for the solemn purpose" of the OPCW.

Asked why the GRU team was allowed to go back to Russian Federation, a Whitehall official said: "That was a decision taken by the Dutch authorities and that's a question that needs to be addressed to the Dutch authorities".

They used illegal crypto currency such as Bitcoin to "further their conspiracies", Demers said.

The Dutch and British prime ministers Mark Rutte and Theresa May in a joint statement accused the GRU of "disregard for global values" and lashed out at the Russian agency's "unacceptable cyber activities". He said it was retaliation for Russian athletes being banned from the Olympics.

British sources said a third strike, on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), resulted in the release of the medical files of global sports stars in August 2017, including tennis's Serena and Venus Williams and Britain's Tour de France winning cyclists Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins.

The Russian foreign ministry dismissed the allegations as "big fantasies" and part of the West's "spy mania". Maybe a Nina Ricci bottle.

The UK government believes that the Kremlin was ultimately responsible for the GRU hacks. Britain blames the secretive military intelligence unit for the nerve agent attack in March on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury.

Most of the 298 people killed onboard MH17 were Dutch citizens, and investigators say they have strong evidence the Buk missile that downed the plane came from Russian Federation, a charge Russian Federation denies. That report singled him out as a highly decorated Russian intelligence colonel.

"We'll continue working with allies to isolate, make them understand they can not continue to conduct themselves in such a way".

According to Eric Welling, Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI's Cyber Division, these GRU hackers operated under the name "Fancy Bear Hacking Team", the same group of Russian government-backed hackers that was the focus of Special Counsel Robert Muller's indictment of GRU hackers early this summer.

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