The West fights back against Putin’s cyber war: America, Holland and the UK spearhead retaliation against Russia as it’s reveal how Moscow’s web of hackers hit high-profile targets across the globe

Thursday, October 4, 2018
By Paul Martin

Russian GRU intelligence agents were caught outside chemical weapons HQ in Netherlands in April
They were trying to break into the computers of chemical weapons watchdog after hack attacks on UK
The attempted hack came during the investigation into the Salisbury novichok poisoning
Men were picked up with a cache of computer equipment, linking them to other incidents, and sent home
Dutch authorities lift lid on the operation and name the men at briefing sparking international condemnation
US charges 7 Russian spies with crimes including hacking, identity theft and fraud using crypto-currencies

4 October 2018

Britain, America and the Netherlands today launched a carefully coordinated fightback against Putin’s army of hackers as the scale of Russia’s global cyber warfare was laid bare.

First, the UK accused Russia’s GRU intelligence agency of being behind hacks on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), transport systems in Ukraine and democratic elections, such as the 2016 US presidential race.

Then, Dutch authorities revealed they had caught a team of Kremlin agents rigging up computers, phones and an antenna in the boot of a car to try and hack into the global chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague.

Then, this afternoon, the US Justice Department announced it has charged seven Russian military intelligence officers with hacking anti-doping agencies and other organizations.

The suspects, including the four members of The Hague cyber squad, are accused of hacking hundreds of people in 30 countries including people working in anti-doping organisation, for FIFA and staff at a US nuclear facility supplying power to Ukraine.

Five are also charged with aggravated identity theft, money laundering and using crypto-currencies illegally in transactions that occurred in part in US. Prosecutors said: ‘We want them to face trial and be put in jail’.

The Kremlin was left trying to bat away a growing flood of evidence of its hacking activities around the world, with some allegations dating back years.

The US indictment lists the seven hackers offences as ‘computer hacking activity spanning from 2014 through May of 2018’, including targets including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The defendants listed in the US are all Russian nationals and residents: Aleksei Morenets, 41, Evgenii Serebriakov, 37, Ivan Yermakov, 32, Artem Malyshev, 30, and Dmitriy Badin, 27, from the GRU’s Unit 26165, and Oleg Sotnikov, 46, and Alexey Minin, 46, who were also GRU officers.

The FBI indictment lists a series of allegations against the seven wanted men. It says:

In July 2016, Yermakov and Malyshev used ‘spoofed domains’ to unleash ‘spearphishing’ attacks on WADA and United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) employees.
Also in 2016, Morenets and Serebriakov, with the support of Yermakov, went to Rio to target Wi-Fi networks used by anti-doping officials.
In mid-September 2016, Morenets and Serebriakov compromised the wifi network of a hotel hosting a WADA anti-doping conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In December 2016 and January 2017, the group successfully compromised the networks of International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF and football governing body, and targeted computers and accounts used by each organization’s top anti-doping official. Among the data stolen from officials were anti-doping policies, lab results, and medical reports.
In April 2018, Morenets, Serebriakov, Sotnikov, and Minin travelled to The Hague to try and hack into the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) during the investigation in the Salisbury novichok attack. The case against these four was set out by the Dutch Defence ministry today.

It came after the British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the GRU were behind at least four hacking attacks around the world:

Britain’s cyber security chiefs say they have ‘high confidence’ Russian intelligence was responsible for a strike on Wada in August 2017.
The NCSC said it was ‘almost certainly’ the GRU behind a ‘BadRabbit’attack in October 2017 that caused disruption to the Kyiv metro and, Odessa airport in the Ukraine and Russia’s central bank.
The NCSC also stated that the GRU was ‘almost certainly’ to blame for hacking the Democratic National Committee during the US presidential election in 2016.
The agency pointed the finger at the GRU for accessing email accounts at a small UK-based TV station in 2015

The Rest…HERE

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