United Kingdom accuses Russian Federation for 'reckless' cyber attacks

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He added the US allies in Europe should also think about it.

Seven months to the day since the still unexplained events in Salisbury that saw the poisoning of the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and the later death of resident Dawn Sturgess, the United States made use of an operation carried out by Dutch intelligence in April, first announced last month, when four Russians were expelled for allegedly trying to hack the OPCW.

Dutch authorities disclosed on Thursday how - with the help of United Kingdom intelligence - they thwarted an attempted cyber attack on the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. It was so obvious, in fact, that it nearly looked like the Russians didn't care about getting caught.

"Basically, the Russians got caught with their equipment, with people who were doing it and they have to pay the piper, they are going to have to be held to account".

"Where Russia acts in an indiscriminate and reckless way, where they have done in terms of these cyberattacks, we will be exposing them", Williamson told reporters in Brussels at talks with U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and their North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts.

Mattis said the West has "a wide variety of responses" available.

"We can no longer allow the GRU to act aggressively across the world with apparent impunity".

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

"But of course it will go beyond that, and that is why we will be discussing with our allies what further sanctions should be imposed". Russia, on the other hand, called the accusations a "diabolical cocktail" of allegations.

Speaking about Russia's hacking attempts into the MH17 crash investigation, she said: "We have been aware of the interest of Russian intelligence services in this investigation and have taken appropriate measures". A wealth of surveillance footage released by Western intelligence agencies was quickly and overwhelmingly confirmed by independent reporting.

Australia and New Zealand also backed the British findings. The malicious software outbreak knocked out ATMs, gas stations, pharmacies and hospitals and, according to a secret White House assessment recently cited by Wired, caused $10 billion in damage worldwide.

The US Justice Department said the seven alleged GRU members indicted on Thursday had targeted not only the OPCW but also the US Democratic Party, world footballing body FIFA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and US nuclear energy company Westinghouse.

The Dutch alleged that on April 13, the Russians parked a auto in a hotel vehicle park with its boot facing the headquarters of the nearby OPCW HQ.

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The GRU, now officially known in Russian Federation by a shorter acronym GU, is also the agency Britain has blamed for sending two men to England to poison former GRU agent Skripal with a chemical weapon sprayed on his door. Moscow vehemently denies involvement. A laptop found with the team appeared to tie them to other alleged GRU hacks. 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. Counterintelligence officials reportedly arrested the four men and confiscated electronic equipment found on them, including mobile phones and laptops, and then took them to Schiphol airport to board a flight back to Russian Federation.

"This pattern of behavior demonstrates their desire to operate without regard to global law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences", he said.

US prosecutors said the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and the OPCW.

They were named in them as Alekski Morenets and Evgenii Serebriakov, described as a cyber operators, and Oleg Soktnikov and Alexey Minin, who were said to have provided "humint (human intelligence) support".

Thursday's announcement comes after Mueller indicted 12 GRU officers in July for allegedly conducting a "sustained effort" to hack Democrats' emails and computer networks.

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

The World Anti-Doping Agency, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian anti-doping agency were all identified by the U.S. indictment against the Russians.

WADA says the alleged hackers "sought to violate athletes' rights by exposing personal and private data - often then modifying them - and ultimately undermine the work of WADA and its partners in the protection of clean sport".

The Netherlands summoned the Russian Ambassador for an explanation, reports said.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said the accusations were fake and meant to "delegitimize" a resurgent Russia.

He argued that 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".

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, denounced the accusations as fake, saying they are intended to "delegitimize Russia" and pave the way for using any illegitimate means against it.

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