USA charges 7 Russian intel officers with hacking

Read more Vladimir Putin brands poisoned ex-spy Skripal a'traitor and'scumbag

Read more Vladimir Putin brands poisoned ex-spy Skripal a'traitor and'scumbag

It was also active in Malaysia targeting authorities investigation the downing of flight MH17.

"They were trying to commit a close access hack operation", he said.

Major-general Eichelsheim said the government had taken the unusual step of releasing details of the operation after USA officials published charges against a number of Russian intelligence agents on Thursday.

In a statement, it said: "As is traditional, it is not backed by any proof and is another element in an anti-Russian campaign being conducted by the British government".

Russian Federation denied what its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman called a "diabolical perfume cocktail" of allegations dreamt up by someone with a "rich imagination".

The seven officials are charged with hacking, stealing private and sensitive information and publishing it as retaliation.

The Netherlands released copies of passports of the four men, which identified them as Alexey Minin, Oleg Sotnikov, Evgenii Serebriakov and Aleksei Morenets, all in their 30s or 40s.

The four men are said to have gone to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) headquarters on a reconnaissance mission.

In the rear of the auto they had set up specialist equipment for doing this, and parked the vehicle in the auto park of a nearby Marriot hotel.

The OPCW has been investigating the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.

They chose to try and destroy smartphones following their mission and also took their rubbish with them out of the hotel rooms they stayed in, in an attempt not to leave any DNA traces, according to Dutch officials.

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When this happened they tried to destroy one of the mobile phones they were carrying, which officials say shows their heightened awareness of security. In all, the GRU spies leaked private data of 250 athletes from nearly 30 countries, officials said.

Today, the United Kingdom and its allies can expose a campaign by the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, of indiscriminate and reckless cyber attacks targeting political institutions, businesses, media and sport.

They had planned to travel on to a laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland used by the OPCW to analyse chemical weapons samples, he said.

Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld made the allegation at a press conference in the Hague, saying Dutch authorities disrupted the attempt by Russian intelligence agents in April.

The GRU campaign ran from December 2014 until at least May 2018, targeting United States persons, corporations and worldwide organisations based on their strategic interest to the Russian government, officials said.

The two leaders said Thursday they will "defend global institutions from those that seek do to them harm".

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. Russian Federation says the two men Britain blames for the attack were tourists who twice visited Mr. Skripal's hometown during a weekend trip to England, a story Britain says is so far-fetched as to prove Moscow's culpability.

"We will be discussing with our allies what further sanctions should be imposed", he said.

They were escorted to Schiphol airport and put on a plane without their items, and the intelligence services were in charge of the operation.

It's hardly news that western spy agencies think that Russian military intelligence was behind the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and the hacking of the World Anti-Doping Agency has always been blamed on the same source. The move is part of a government campaign to expose the actions of the organisation which is also suspected of being behind the Salisbury poisonings. MH17. Russian Federation has consistently denied involvement in the events.

"The GRU's actions are reckless and indiscriminate", Hunt said. This pattern of behaviour 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.

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