Russian hackers accused of targeting United Nations chemical weapons watchdog, MH17 files

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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".

Prosecutors say the Russians also targeted a Pennsylvania-based nuclear energy company and an global organization that was investigating chemical weapons in Syria and the poisoning of a former GRU officer.

Three of the defendants were also charged in the hacking of United States persons involved in the 2016 election, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers said during a news conference, but the current indictment does not arise out of special counsel Robert Mueller's work.

Dutch authorities said they had disrupted an attempt to hack into the Hague-based OPCW in April. This was being used to intercept login details, Maj Gen Onno Eichelsheim from the Dutch MIVD intelligence service said.

The cascade of condemnation - from the Australian, British and Dutch governments - does more than just point the finger at Moscow.

Operatives from Russia's GRU arm carried out various "reckless and indiscriminate" high-profile online attacks, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement.

It was around this time investigations into the Skripals' novichok poisoning were taking place. Malaysia is involved in the investigation into the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014, which the Netherlands holds Russian Federation accountable for.

A laptop that was confiscated from the officers held a trove of information about their past activities, including a record of connecting to a WiFi network at a hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, in September of 2016, as the World Anti-Doping Agency was holding a conference at the hotel. Moscow replied with tit-for-tat expulsions of Westerners.

Russia on Thursday rejected British accusations its spies were behind global cyber attacks, saying the allegations were unworthy and part of a disinformation campaign created to damage Russian interests, the TASS news agency reported.

"It is evident from the allegations in today's indictment that the defendants believed that they could use their perceived anonymity to act with impunity, in their own countries and on territories of other sovereign nations, to undermine worldwide institutions to distract from their government's own malfeasance", said John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

News of the Dutch operation came a day after Britain and Australia blamed the GRU for some of the biggest cyber attacks of recent years - including one on the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 United States presidential campaign.

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Four Russians, a auto full of electronic equipment, and a foiled plot to hack the world's foremost chemical weapons watchdog.

Russian Federation has consistently denied involvement in the events.

Britain's ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Wilson, said the GRU would no longer be allowed to act with impunity.

Britain's relations with Russian Federation have been in the deep freeze since the Salisbury attack which targeted former Kremlin agent Sergei Skripal.

All the activity comes amid heightened tension between Russian Federation and the USA over cybersecurity.

"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. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and their North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts.

The United States has sanctioned GRU officers including its chief, Igor Korobov, in 2016 and 2018 for attempted interference in the 2016 USA election and cyber attacks.

"We are not going to be backward leaning".

"This is not the actions of a great power, these are the actions of a pariah state", British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told reporters. "We are going to actually make it clear that where Russian Federation acts, we are going to be exposing that action", Williamson said.

"This is unacceptable and the Australian government calls on all countries, including Russian Federation, to refrain from these types of malicious activities", the prime minister wrote in a statement.

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