US suspects six Russians of disruptive international hacking operation

The US Department of Justice suspects six Russian army officers of large-scale international hacks and disruptive cyber attacks. They are said to have attacked or attempted to influence the 2017 French elections, the 2018 Winter Olympics and American hospitals and businesses.

US suspects six Russians of disruptive international hacking operation

The people being charged are members of the Russian military intelligence agency GROe. According to the Americans, they have also tried to prevent the investigation of the nerve gas poisoning of the former spy Skripal and his daughter. The US also holds the six responsible for a cyber attack on Ukraine’s electricity grid.

On October 15, 2020, a federal grand jury sitting in the Western District of Pennsylvania returned an indictment against six Russian military intelligence officers for their alleged roles in targeting and compromising computer systems worldwide, including those relating to critical infrastructure in Ukraine, a political campaign in France, and the country of Georgia; international victims of the “NotPetya” malware attacks (including critical infrastructure providers); and international victims associated with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and investigations of nerve agent attacks that have been publicly attributed to the Russian government.

FBI wanted poster on Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev
The FBI wanted poster

The indictment

The indictment charges the defendants, Anatoliy Sergeyevich KovalevYuriy Sergeyevich AndrienkoSergey Vladimirovich DetistovPavel Valeryevich FrolovArtem Valeryevich Ochichenko, and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin, with a computer hacking conspiracy intended to deploy destructive malware and take other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia, through unauthorized access to victims’ computers. 

The indictment also charges these defendants with false registration of a domain name, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, intentional damage to protected computers, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting those crimes. The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a federal arrest warrant for Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev upon the grand jury’s return of the indictment.

References

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