United Kingdom says Russian Federation was behind 4 major cyber-attacks on Western democracies


In a series of coordinated announcements, authorities in the US, UK, the Netherlands and Australia have accused the Russian military intelligence agency GRU of a huge array of cyberattacks around the world.

The Russians set up a auto full of electronic equipment in the vehicle park of a hotel next to the Organisation for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons in The Hague in a bid to hack into its computer system, it said.

Responding to the announcement, Ms May and Mr Rutte said: "We have, with the operations exposed today, further shone a light on the unacceptable cyber activities of the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU".

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, denounced the accusations as fake, saying they are intended to "delegitimize Russia" and pave the way for using any illegitimate means against it.

The GRU campaign ran from December 2014 until at least May 2018, targeting United States persons, corporations and global organisations based on their strategic interest to the Russian government, officials said.

The US indictment says the seven defendants are all Russian citizens and residents.

Vladimir Lenin insisted on its independence from other secret services.British Prime Minister Theresa May has said GRU officers used a nerve agent to try to kill former double agent Sergei Skripal, who was found unconscious in the English city of Salisbury in March.

The US Justice Department indicted seven Russian military intelligence figures, claiming they had targeted the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - the watchdog agency that has been responsible for investigating the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.

It was also active in Malaysia targeting authorities investigation the downing of flight MH17.

"The Russian military, and their intelligence arm "the GRU", is responsible for this pattern of malicious cyber activity", the government said in a statement.

It also concluded that the GRU was behind hacks and leaks of U.S. Democratic National Committee e-mails that embarrassed President Donald Trump's opponent Hillary Clinton in the weeks before the 2016 election, among other high-profile and damaging attacks.

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Britain's ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the GRU would no longer be allowed to act with impunity.

The four men are said to have gone to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) headquarters on a reconnaissance mission.

The British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also identified numerous hacking groups, including APT28, Pawn Storm, Sandworm, Fancy Bear and the Sofacy Group, as being associated with the GRU.

According to John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security, members of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU engaged in a hacking conspiracy to obtain nonpublic health information about athletes and others in the anti-doping files of multiple sports organizations in the US and overseas.

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.

He added: "Information from an unnamed United Kingdom broadcaster, the attack on the US Democratic National Convention in 2016, leaks of material from the Canadian-based World Anti-Doping Agency are just some of the attacks we know about, with many more taking place against United Kingdom interests".

In other words, officials hope that Russian Federation will know that if it carries out attacks like this again, there will be a price to be paid of further worldwide opprobrium.

"Cyberspace is not the Wild West", Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a joint statement.

Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary-General, vowed to strengthen the alliance's defences against attacks on computer networks.

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said that these were "not the actions of a great power, this is the actions of a pariah state".