Russian Federation 'targeted chemical weapons body'

Mikhail Svetlov via Getty Images               The NCSC has judged the Kremlin is behind the actions of the GRU

UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said Russian military intelligence (GRU) used a network of hackers to undermine administrations.

Moscow accused the West of "spy mania" after Dutch security services said they had thwarted a Russian cyber attack on the OPCW.

Co-operation in the Netherlands, but also with our global intelligence partners.

The Dutch defense minister Ank Bijleveld said the agents worked for the Russian military intelligence GRU agency and that they had used diplomatic passports to enter the country, where they allegedly took pictures of the OPCW's surroundings in The Hague and hacked into the organization's WiFi network from a auto parked outside the building.

Justice Department officials say three of the seven Russian military intelligence officials accused in the hacking of anti-doping agencies were previously charged by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Key Russian attacks were carried out in 2016, days after the World Anti-Doping Agency released an initial report on Russian doping activities.

The four Russians in the Netherlands were detained on April 13 and expelled to Russia, Dutch Major General Onno Eichelsheim said.

"I imagine Mr Putin is shouting at one or two people right now", a cheerful British official told me.

The British government holds the Kremlin ultimately responsible for the cyber campaign, they said.

What have the other countries said?

Demers said the operations - dating back to 2014 - "involved sophisticated, persistent and unauthorized access into the victims' computer networks for the goal of stealing private or otherwise sensitive information".

"These acts form part of a broader pattern of activities by the Russian government that lie well outside the bounds of appropriate behaviour, demonstrate a disregard for worldwide law and undermine the rules-based worldwide order", said Global Affairs Canada in a statement.

Well, we now know what she means.

The Department of Justice has indicted seven Russian intelligence officers for their role in the hacking of athletes and sporting organizations around the world.

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What were the suspects doing in the Netherlands?

British and Dutch cybersecurity experts were able to fend off the attack.

Equipment in the vehicle boot was pointed at the OPCW and was being used to intercept login details, Maj Gen Onno Eichelsheim from the Dutch MIVD intelligence service said.

Equipment in the vehicle boot was pointed at the OPCW and was being used to intercept login details, he said, adding that the antenna for the operation lay under a jacket on the car's rear shelf.

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

They never made it.

"We intercepted it and expelled the four men from the country". They are Aleksei Morenets, 41; Evgenii Serebriakov, 37; Ivan Yermakov, 32; Artem Malyshev, 30; Dmitriy Badin, 27.

Britain's National Cyber Security Center says four new attacks are associated with GRU as well as earlier cyberattacks.

British government sources said they had has assessed with "high confidence" that the GRU was "almost certainly" behind the Democratic Party hack that some Hillary Clinton supporters claimed helped tip the United States election in Donald Trump's favour, as well as the WADA attack which resulted in the release of the medical files of global sports stars including tennis's Serena and Venus Williams and British cyclist Bradley Wiggins. The chemical weapons watchdog was investigating a Novichok nerve agent attack on a former GRU spy, Sergei Skripal, that Britain has blamed on the Russian government.

Prosecutors say the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and an global organisation that was investigating chemical weapons in Syria and the poisoning of a former GRU officer.

Russian Federation on Thursday faced a coordinated barrage of accusations from the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, that claimed Moscow was behind a slew of recent malicious cyber attacks around the world.

What was on their computer?

As well as the equipment in the auto, a laptop seized from the suspects was found to have been used in Brazil, Switzerland and Malaysia.

The British ambassador to the Netherlands Peter Wilson also revealed how one of the agents allegedly attempted to disrupt the investigation into Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), which was shot down in 2014.

This shows Moscow - and other European capitals - what can be done when they are targeted by what officials describe as malign Russian activities.

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