Russia Warns Against 'Dangerous' Hacking Allegations That 'Incite Tensions'

Russia Warns Against 'Dangerous' Hacking Allegations That 'Incite Tensions'

Russia Warns Against 'Dangerous' Hacking Allegations That 'Incite Tensions'

Prosecutors say some of those accused were also involved in the thwarted hacking of the global chemical watchdog in the Netherlands, revealed by Dutch authorities earlier.

In a British assessment based on work by its National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Russian military intelligence (GRU) was cast as a pernicious cyber aggressor which used a network of hackers to spread discord across the world.

The incident - just weeks after the attempted poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal - led to the expulsion from the Netherlands of a four-man team from Russia's GRU military intelligence service.

The head of the Netherlands' Defense Intelligence and Security Service, Maj.

However, Russia's interests were at stake in both cases: the OPCW was investigating reports that a Soviet-made nerve agent had been used against a Russian ex-spy in England, and Russia has been blamed by some for being involved in shooting down MH17.

The OPCW is an worldwide chemical weapons watchdog based at The Hague in The Netherlands.

Geert-Jan Knoops, a lawyer and law professor, told NOS Radio 1 Journaal that he believes this is the reason why four men claimed to be Russian spies engaging in an attempt to hack into the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were not arrested.

But the decision has come under scrutiny after the United States announced the same day that the four Russians were among seven people it had indicted over a global hacking conspiracy. Using malware, GRU officials were allegedly able to "compromise CCES's networks in Canada" - and accessed the personal health records of athletes from more than 30 countries.

Moscow has denied responsibility in the Skripal attack and said the two accused were merely tourists visiting Britain. When they were caught, the agency was investigating a suspected Russian nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal, a former Soviet spy who had defected to the United Kingdom, and his daughter.

They had planned to travel on to a laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland used by the OPCW to analyse chemical weapons samples, he said.

"What is clear that if we don't respond to such attacks, it's more than likely Russian Federation will continue" its hostile activities, he said.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, at a news conference in the Belgian capital, said Russian Federation must pay a price, and a number of response options were available.

Britain said the GRU was associated with a host of hackers including APT 28, Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berkut and Voodoo Bear.

"We are going to actually make it clear that where Russian Federation acts, we are going to be exposing that action", Williamson said.

His call was echoed by his British counterpart, Gavin Williamson, who said: "This is not the action of a great power. This is the actions of a pariah state, and we will continue working with allies to isolate them; make them understand they can not continue to conduct themselves in such a way", he said.

US authorities have charged seven GRU officers - including the four caught in The Hague - in an global hacking rampage said to have targeted more than 250 athletes, a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company, a Swiss chemical laboratory and the OPCW.

The targets allegedly included a small UK TV station, the US Democratic National Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), as well as a Bad Rabbit ransomware attack which swept across Russia and Europe in October past year, affecting a Ukranian metro line, Odessa airport, a Russian central bank and two Russian media outlets.

Demers said Russian Federation the hacking embarrassed Olympic athletes from the United States and other countries.

The UK government has accused Russia's military intelligence service (GRU) of orchestrating cyberattacks on sport's global governing bodies, including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"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. They said Australia wasn't significantly impacted, but the cyberattacks caused economic damage and disrupted civilian infrastructure in other places.

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