France says Russian global hacking claims 'worrying'

Russian President Vladimir Putin right and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

Russian President Vladimir Putin right and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the building of tensions between two nuclear powers was a "dangerous path". He added the USA allies in Europe should also think about it.

The indictment alleges that the seven defendants, all of whom are members of Russia's military intelligence agency, sought to sow disinformation and create an influence campaign as retaliation for the exposure of a Russian state-sponsored athlete doping programme.

His remarks came after British and Australian officials said the Russian military intelligence unit GRU is behind a wave of global cyberattacks.

"The pattern I think we have been able to piece together is they were using cyber attacks and malware to distort, to corrupt and to destroy the processes which were those investigating Russian activity - chemical attacks, doping, and downing a flight".

Travis Tygart, the CEO of the US anti-doping agency and a prominent critic of Russian athletes' drug use, says "a system that was abusing its own athletes with an institutionalized doping program has now been indicted for perpetrating cyberattacks on innocent athletes from around the world".

It's an interesting analogy, given that Russians spies are thought to have transported the deadly nerve agent used to kill enemies residing in the United Kingdom via a perfume bottle.

"These are the actions of a pariah state and we will continue working with allies to isolate them and make them understand they can not conduct themselves in such a way".

The Russian foreign ministry has said it is a victim of "propaganda directed against our country".

The Dutch allegations against Russian Federation are causing "serious harm" to bilateral relations, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said in a website statement.

Britain and the Netherlands have accused Russia of running a global campaign of cyber attacks to undermine democracies, including a thwarted attempt to hack into the United Nations chemical weapons watchdog while it was analysing a Russian poison used to attack a spy.

Russian officials portrayed the allegations as part of an anti-Russian campaign meant to entrench Moscow's reputation as an enemy. Britain and the Netherlands accused the Russian GRU military intelligence of a series of global cybercrimes. He asked, "Can you... confirm whether any investigation is being undertaken by our intelligence services and other authorities into Russian interference in the UK?"

Justice Department officials declined to provide additional details on Thursday about the attacks on the company.

Travis Tygart, the CEO of the US anti-doping agency and a prominent critic of Russian athletes' drug use, says "a system that was abusing its own athletes with an institutionalized doping program has now been indicted for perpetrating cyberattacks on innocent athletes from around the world".

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Mr Hunt said the alleged OPCW hack would "put to rest" any doubts people may have about the Russian military involvement in the Salisbury attack.

The Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport processed dozens of doping and Olympic eligibility cases involving Russian athletes in the days before and during the games held August 5-21 two years ago. Two of the passports had consecutive serial numbers, and the men were found with 20,000 euros and US$20,000 in cash, Dutch officials said.

In a statement, the court said its "servers were resistant enough to ensure data protection".

In the indictment, prosecutors alleged that one of the Russian officers, Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov, who was also charged by Mueller in the election-related hacking, performed "technical reconnaissance" on Westinghouse to gain access to IP addresses, domains and network ports starting in November 2014.

Four of the names in the indictment match those given by Dutch authorities in connection with an alleged GRU cyberoperation against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an worldwide chemical weapons watchdog organization based in the Netherlands.

Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said the GRU's hacking attempts on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which she said took place in April, were disrupted by authorities.

The indictment says the hacking was often conducted remotely.

The "close access" hacking attempt followed an earlier failed "spearphishing attack" on the OPCW headquarters.

Three of the seven Russian military officers indicted on Thursday were charged in a separate case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office for their role in hacking activities created to influence the 2016 presidential election.

It added that it is cooperating with the Justice Department, but could not go into specifics because the investigation is ongoing.

Demers says the indictment shows hackers can't use anonymity to hide from the law.

An online auto registration database in Russia showed that Aleksei Morenets, whose full name and date of birth are the same as one of the expelled Russians, sold his vehicle in 2004, listing the Moscow address where the Defence Ministry's Military University is based. The West has picked up the GRU as "a modern analogue of the KGB which served as a bugaboo for people in the West during the Cold War", he said.

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