United Kingdom accuses Russian military intelligence of behind host of global cyber attacks

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The Russian military intelligence service GRU has targeted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), according to the government.

Britain helped the Netherlands with the operation, they added.

One of the seized laptops was also active in Brazil, Switzerland, and Malaysia.

British authorities confirmed that the same men had attempted to launch cyberattacks against the investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Britain blames the secretive military intelligence unit for the nerve agent attack in March on Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the English city of Salisbury.

Officials have previously said other cyber actors include CyberCaliphate, Pawnstorm, Voodoo Bear and Tsar Team. They were carrying €20,000 and USA $20,000 in cash, took their rubbish from their hotel room when they left and tried to destroy their mobile phones when they were intercepted.

At that point the Dutch counter-terrorism officers intervened to disrupt the operation and the four GRU officers were ordered to leave the country.

On April 13 they parked a auto carrying specialist hacking equipment outside the headquarters of the OPCW in the The Hague.

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The quartet's rental vehicle was found to be full of hacking tools, including a laptop, mobile phones, and Wi-Fi panel antenna.

After the Salisbury poisonings, the British government scored a significant diplomatic success in persuading 28 countries to expel more than 150 Russian diplomats and intelligence agents. "It was a successful operation".

When leaving The Hague, the men took all the rubbish from their room in a further bid to cover their tracks.

When asked at the news conference why the investigation was based in Pittsburgh, Brady said, "the reason they come to Pittsburgh is because we have the best prosecutors and agents in the Department of Justice".

Britain accused Russian military intelligence of directing a host of cyber attacks aimed at undermining Western democracies by sowing confusion in everything from sport to transport and the 2016 USA presidential election.

And the United States charged seven Russian GRU officers for hacking and other crimes. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called him a "traitor" and a "scumbag". He told US President Donald Trump during a July summit in Helsinki that talk of Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 election was "nonsense".

Russia has dismissed allegations by Britain and the Netherlands of running a global campaign of cyber attacks to undermine democracies, including a thwarted attempt to hack into the United Nations chemical weapons watchdog while it was analyzing a Russian poison used to attack a spy.

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"Western spy mania is gathering pace", a Russian foreign ministry representative told AFP.

Canada joined North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies on Thursday in blaming the Russian military for new cyberattacks that targeted the global chemical weapons agency and the investigation into the mysterious 2014 crash of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine.

"State-sponsored hacking and disinformation campaigns pose serious threats to our security and to our open society", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Thursday.

Britain's Defence Minister Gavin Williamson stands in the main chamber during the second day of a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at a gathering of NATO defence ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre concluded that the GRU was behind the 2016 hacks of the US Democratic National Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

At the same time, Australian and British spies have now endorsed the American intelligence community's reported attribution of the catastrophic June 2017 cyberattack on Ukraine to the GRU.

"This is the actions of a pariah state, and we will continue working with allies to isolate them; make them understand they can not continue to conduct themselves in such a way", he said.

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