Caught Red-Handed: Global Authorities Narrow Down on Busted Russian Hackers

Moscow Russia

Moscow-based hackers have been publicly named and kicked out of the Netherlands after they were caught targeting the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The US Department of Justice and a number of other global law enforcement agencies have accused Russian hackers of plotting to attack the OPCW, an organization that has been probing the chemical attack on a former Soviet spy in the UK. The notable incident involves the former spy and his daughter who had defected to the UK.

The Russians were notably nabbed in a hotel parking lot next to the OPCW office in an automobile rigged with gear to penetrate the agency’s Wi-Fi network. Furthermore, Dutch authorities also discovered that mobile phones found on the alleged hackers had been activated near the Russian military agency (GRU) headquarters in Moscow.

In a major bust, authorities also claim that a laptop found in the car had been used in Malaysia to target an investigation of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17, which was infamously shot down over rebel-held Ukraine in 2014. All 298 people on board were killed as a result of the attack.

The same laptop was also used in Switzerland, which authorities say was used to hack a laptop belonging to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal in Canada. The agency had previously uncovered evidence that athletes in Russia were using illegal drugs to boost their performance in international sporting events.

For its part, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow needs time to study the allegations from Dutch authorities. He notably dismissed the, however. “Western spy mania…picking up pace” he reportedly told Interfax, adding that such accusations against Russia “know no limits”.

The U.S. Justice Department, meanwhile, has charged seven suspects accused of working for the GRU in an indictment.

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