Russia is facing new accusations of cyber-attacks on government agencies around the globe. The U.S., U.K., Canada, and the Netherlands say the charges include attempts to tamper with evidence related to Russian sports doping, chemical attacks, and the 2014 downing of a passenger jet.
CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports:
From a Swiss Alpine laboratory to its Dutch headquarters, Russia allegedly tried to cripple the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) according to Dutch authorities. Dutch intelligence intercepted the attempted breach, and expelled four Russian agents.
“This Russian military intelligence service operation targeted the OPCW wifi network from short range, with a view to hacking and infecting it,” said Onno Eichelsheim, Dutch Military Intelligence Chief said.
The OPCW was targeted because it was working to identify the nerve agent used in the attempted assassination of a former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, in the U.K. city of Salisbury.
The Dutch operation was revealed as Western allies lined up to accuse Moscow of coordinating scores of cyber attacks worldwide aimed at paralyzing inquiries into alleged Russian crimes.
“Russia must stop its reckless pattern of behavior, including the use of force against its neighbors, attempted interference in election processes, and widespread disinformation and campaigns,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
The U.S. revealed it’s indicted seven Russians for trying to infiltrate nuclear reactor builder Westinghouse Electric. According to the indictment, the firm was targeted because it supplied nuclear fuel to the Ukraine.
“Their nimbleness in this regard, their efforts in this regard, shows I think their sophistication and what are obviously the resources of a state backed hacking organization that cannot only do the cyber intrusions from home, but can also send its officers abroad with diplomatic passports in order to do this,” said John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
The U.S. is warning Russia has another target in its sights. Washington says Moscow is trying to influence the outcome of next month’s Congressional elections, having allegedly done the same in the 2016 presidential elections. Moscow denies the allegations.