The United States accused 6 Russian intelligence officials of hacking the investigation into Ukraine, the 2018 Winter Olympics and the Skipral incident. In the indictment prepared on the charges, it is emphasized that the Russian intelligence organization GRU has a large cyber espionage network.
GRU seen by America as lead actor in hacking investigation
The US Department of Justice filed a hack allegation that included Petya ransomware attacks targeting Ukraine in 2015. The claim accuses 6 Russian intelligence officers of hacking activities. According to the indictment, the activities are not limited to these events. The French elections, the Winter Olympics held in Pyonchang in 2018, and investigations into the poisoning of former intelligence agent Sergei Skipral have also been affected by the attacks.
According to The Verge’s report, the most important target in the indictment is the GRU, Russia’s primary military intelligence agency. Although it has been associated with the attacks previously known as Fancy Bear, this is the first time the agency has been blamed so clearly.
The most devastating of the attacks in the indictment is undoubtedly described as the attacks carried out in Ukraine. In the attacks in 2015, the internal networks of the country’s 3 largest energy distribution companies became unusable. The attack, which rendered computers inoperable, left nearly 200,000 people without power in the winter.
Speaking on the subject, FBI special agent Michael Christman said, “Our teams have been monitoring these GRU members for years. These criminals underestimated the power and technology of our intelligence ”.
As in the previous indictments, it is considered as unlikely that Russia will extradite the suspects. However, the prosecution is seen as an important milestone in holding the GRU responsible for digital attacks.