October 4, 2018  |  Updated October 17, 2018

Western Nations Go On the Offensive Against Russian Cyberattacks

By Ashish Kumar Sen
US Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers addressed a press conference in Washington on October 4 at which he announced an indictment charging seven Russian military officers with malicious cyber activities against the United States and its allies. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

Western governments on October 4 unleashed a torrent of accusations against Russia saying its intelligence agency was responsible for cyberattacks on inquiries into Olympic doping, a former spy’s poisoning, and the downing of a commercial aircraft in 2014.

The US Justice Department indicted seven Russian intelligence officers on charges of hacking anti-doping agencies and other organizations.

Earlier in the day, Dutch authorities accused four Russians, who they said belonged to Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, of attempting to hack into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The OPCW is investigating the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury in March as well as chemical weapons attacks in Syria. British officials have accused Russia of using the nerve agent Novichok to poison the Skripals. The website Bellingcat revealed that one of the two suspects in the poisoning is a Russian military officer who was honored by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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