Russia Accused of Alleged Global Cyber-Plots Hacking
Russia Accused of Cyber-Plots Hacking
Russian spies and hackers have been accused of of involvement in a series of cyber attacks across the globe, making the US to level charges against seven agents.
The US Justice department said targets include global chemical weapon watchdog, anti-doping agencies and US nuclear company. These allegations are part of an organised effort to stop Russia against cyber attacks around the world.
What is Russia Really Accused of ?
- The Netherlands has accused the the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). It is a fact that the OPCW had been probing the chemical attack on a Russian ex-spy in the Uk.
- The UK government accused the GRU (Foreign Military Intelligence Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Force of Russia) of being behind four high-profile cyber attacks, whose target includes firms in Russia, Ukraine, the US Democratic party, and a small television network in the UK.
- The US said its anti-doping agency and the nuclear energy company Westinghouse were targeted by Russia intelligence.
- Canada said “with high certainty” that breaches at it’s center of sports and at the montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency were target and carried out by Russia intelligence.
- The Dutch authorities have said a laptop seized from the four suspects in April was found to have been used in Brazil, Switzerland and Malaysia. In Malaysia, the Netherlands said, it was used to target the investigation into the doping of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014 over territory held by Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board were dead.
What has Russia Said?
Russia foreign ministry which had dismissed the allegations from the UK and the Netherlands as “Western spy mania” have releases an official statement late on Thursday, saying it was the victim of “yet another stage-managed propaganda campaign”.
They said ” it’s unclear to believe these statements accusing Russia citizens of attempting to mount cyber attacks against the OPCW and trying to obtain data related to the Malaysian flight MH17, as if, it is necessary to be close to the target of your attack”.
” Any Russia citizen carrying a mobile device is seen as a spy, statement added.
What Have Other Countries Said?
The US Assistant Attorney General for National Security, John Demers, told a press conference in Washington that many of the attacks were aimed at de-legitimizing sports bodies and ” altering perceptions of the truth”.
He said the attacks were how Russia retaliated for bans on its athletes following evidence it was systematically using drugs to enhance their performance.
As a result of the findings, the US has indicted seven people, four of whom were the men expelled from the Netherlands, while the other three were among those charged in July with hacking Democratic officials during the 2016 US elections.
They were also charged with wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering.
A joint statement from the British Minister Theresa May and her Dutch counter-part Mark Rutte said the alleged plot against the OPCW demonstrate “the GRU’s disregard for global values and rules that keep us all safe”.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK was discussing further sanctions against Russia with its allies.
What Were the Suspects Doing in Netherlands?
The four suspects identified by the Dutch officials had diplomatic passports which meant the Netherlands could not arrest them as diplomats since they are immune from prosecution in their host country, the other two are IT experts and two support agents, the Netherlands officials said.
The four hired a car and parked it in the car park of a hotel called the Marriot hotel in the Hague, which is next to the OPCW office, to hack into the OPCW’s wireless network.
Some sophisticated wireless hacking antenna were under a jacket on the car’s rear shelf was pointed at the OPCW to intercepts login details.
When the men were intercepted they tried to destroy one the their mobile phones they were carrying , said Gen. Eichelsheim.
Gen. Eichelsheim said, one of their mobile phones was found to have been activated in Moscow. Certainly this setup should have ensure data transfer from Netherlands OPCW center to Moscow. They never made it. Instead they were escorted out of the country.
Who are the Suspects?
They were named by the MIVD (formerly Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst) now MIVD is the Military Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands, as hacker Alexei Morenetz and Yevgeny Serebriakov, and support agents Oleg Sotnikov and Alexei Minin.
They were from the GRU’s unit 26165, also known as APT 28. The UK ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the unit had sent officers around the world to conduct cyber operations such as hacking into wireless networks.
What was on their computer?
The laptop seized from the suspects was found to have been used in Brazil, Switzerland and Malaysia, the Dutch officials said.
Russia ‘liable’ for downing MH17
Earlier this year, The Dutch-led international investigators concluded that a missile that brought down MH17 belonged to a Russian Brigade.
Russia has denied any involvement in the plane’s crash, which led to the death of many Dutch citizens.