The Justice Department on Monday unsealed charges accusing six Russian military intelligence officers of an aggressive worldwide hacking campaign that caused mass disruption and cost billions of dollars by attacking targets like a French presidential election, the electricity grid in Ukraine and the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Prosecutors said the suspects were from the same unit that helped distribute stolen Democratic emails in the 2016 election. Though Justice Department officials played down the timing of the announcement two weeks before the presidential election, it nevertheless served as American officials’ latest censure of Russia’s hostile intrusions into other countries’ affairs, even as President Trump has adopted a more accommodating stance toward Moscow.
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Russia planned cyber-attack on Tokyo Olympics, says UK
Russian military intelligence services were planning a cyber-attack on the Japanese-hosted Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this summer in an attempt to disrupt the world’s premier sporting event, the UK National Cyber Security Centre has revealed, disclosing a joint operation with the US intelligence agencies.
The Russian cyber-reconnaissance work covered the Games organisers, logistics services and sponsors and was under way before the Olympics was postponed due to coronavirus.
Russia’s cyber-attack plan for Olympics part of a familiar pattern
In the aftermath of Moscow’s hacking of the 2016 US election, many analysts expected the GRU to be punished. After all, Russia’s powerful military spy agency had been caught red-handed. The FBI indicted several GRU hackers in humiliating fashion. The spies who stole Democratic party emails – tens and thousands of them – were named and shamed.
In fact, the GRU avoided any repressions. In recent years Vladimir Putin has carried out a sweeping and brutal reorganisation at the top of government, sending a shiver down the spine of nervous bureaucrats. He has sacked or had arrested regional governors and ministers. Even the FSB, Putin’s old spy agency and a rival to the GRU, has seen generals fired.