US federal prosecutors have charged six Russian intelligence officers for being concerned in a number of main cyberattacks, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A number of the cyberattacks in query had some severe outcomes, reminiscent of:
- Inflicting Ukraine’s electrical grid to close down
- Influencing France’s 2017 presidential elections, and
- Disrupting the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
So: This isn’t only for optics. The indictment additionally locations blame on the intelligence officers for being concerned within the NotPetya operation in 2017, broadly seen because the most devastating cyberattack in latest historical past.
However notably absent from the record? Interference within the 2016 — and 2020 — American elections.
The indictment ties these cyberattacks instantly with the GRU, Russia’s army intelligence. Whereas it’s not the primary time such a hyperlink has been drawn, it’s the primary felony indictment of its type, with counts starting from conspiracy to wire fraud.
“No nation has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly inflicting unprecedented harm to pursue small tactical benefits and to fulfill matches of spite,” Assistant Lawyer Normal for Nationwide Safety John Demers stated throughout a press name, as quoted by WSJ.
Demers referred to as the sequence of assaults “essentially the most disruptive and damaging sequence of pc assaults ever attributed to a single group.”
It’s a damning accusation — federal prosecutors declare the cyberattacks in opposition to the 2018 Winter Olympics was retaliation for the Russian Olympic group being banned for doping. The incident “mixed the emotional maturity of a petulant baby with the hacking expertise of a nation state,” in line with Demers.
“It was a vindictive assault,” John Hultquist, a director at cybersecurity agency FireEye told The New York Times. “There was no clear geopolitical cause to do this. And it impacted your entire worldwide group.”
“No nation will recapture greatness whereas behaving on this manner,” Demers stated, pointing a finger at Russian president Vladimir Putin.
All six Russian intelligence officers have now been positioned on the FBI’s most wished record.
Russia has denied the allegations. It’s unlikely the officers will ever have to face trial within the US, as The New York Instances factors out.
READ MORE: U.S. Charges Six Russian Intelligence Officers With Hacking [The Wall Street Journal]
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