United Kingdom says Russian Federation was behind 4 major cyber-attacks on Western democracies

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt arrives in Downing Street

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

It claimed the Kremlin was responsible for the theft of emails from a UK-based TV station in 2015, the hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016 and the BadRabbit and World Anti-Doping Agency attacks of 2017.

"Nations like Russian Federation and others that engage in malicious and norm-shattering cyber and influence activities should understand the continuing and steadfast resolve of the United States and its allies to prevent, disrupt and deter such unaccountable conduct", Demers told a news conference.

Dutch authorities said it disrupted a cyber operation conducted by Russia's GRU, targeting the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

It is perhaps significant that Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt emphasised that the GRU's "reckless and indiscriminate" cyber attacks don't just hit western targets. "Our message is clear - together with our allies, we will expose and respond to the GRUs attempts to undermine global stability".

In some ways the GRU may consider being blamed for these attacks as a badge of pride, showing their technical prowess; pointing out that these attacks can also hurt Russian companies too may make them think a little harder next time.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova rejected the British allegations, saying, "They mixed up everything in one bottle".

"Bringing the concrete findings of intelligence services into the public arena is an unusual step", Bijleveld said.

Four of those charged belong to GRU Unit 26165, which was the other team implicated in the July indictment. It is increasingly taking on high-profile, high-risk operations to damage Russia's enemies.

The GRU, now officially known in Russian Federation by a shorter acronym GU, is also the agency Britain has blamed for sending two men to England to poison former GRU agent Sergei Skripal with a chemical weapon sprayed on his door.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly and angrily rejected similar charges.

Tensions between the United Kingdom and Russian Federation have been high since the poisoning of retired double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter earlier this year.

Russian Federation mounted a cyber attack on the global chemical weapons watchdog while it was investigating the Salisbury spy poisoning, British and Dutch security services have revealed.

They arrived in the country on April 10 on diplomatic passports with nearly identical serial numbers.

At the time, the OPCW was working to verify the identity of the substance used in the Salisbury attack.

It was also examining an alleged chemical attack by Syria's Russian-backed military in Douma.

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. "These acts form part of a broader pattern of activities by the Russian government that lie well outside the bounds of appropriate behaviour, demonstrate a disregard for worldwide law and undermine the rules-based worldwide order", said Global Affairs Canada in a statement.

"Russia must stop its reckless pattern of behaviour, including the use of force against its neighbours, attempted interference in election processes, and widespread disinformation campaigns", he said in a statement.

"Cyberspace is not the Wild West. The International Community - including Russian Federation - has agreed that international law and norms of responsible state behaviour apply in cyberspace", Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. "By embarking on a pattern of malicious cyber behaviour, Russian Federation has shown a total disregard for the agreements it helped to negotiate".

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