Kremlin Denies Olympics Hacking Allegations, Says It is 'Russophobia'
Oct 22 2020
The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said: "The GRU's actions against the Olympic and Paralympic Games are cynical and reckless".
Britain will continue to work with its allies "to call out and counter future malicious cyberattacks", he added.
British and USA officials said the attacks were conducted by Unit 74455 of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency.
He also noted the hackers conducted spearfishing campaigns against South Korea, the host of the Winter Games, as well as the International Olympic Committee, Olympic partners and athletes.
The GRU also deployed data-deletion malware against the winter Games IT systems and targeted devices across South Korea using VPNFilter malware.
The planned attack also includes the setting up of fake websites and researching individuals' account security, the newspaper said.
The U.S. Department of Justice has handed out criminal charges against six Russian military intelligence officers allegedly responsible for the 2017 "Notpetya" malware attack which, among other things, disrupted the shipping operations of Maersk, the world's top shipping line.
'The IOC and the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games have identified cyber security as a priority area and invest a lot to offer the Olympic Games the best cyber security environment possible, the spokesman said in an email.
Some of the NetPetya malware deployed by GRU 74455 was unleashed on two other USA businesses, including a FedEx Corp. subsidiary and a large US pharmaceutical manufacturer, causing a collective loss of roughly $1 billion for the three victims.
British officials said Unit 74455 of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency had conducted "cyber reconnaissance" operations against Games organisers, logistics suppliers and sponsors.
"No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously and irresponsibly as Russian Federation, wantonly causing unprecedented collateral damage to pursue small tactical advantages as fits of spite", Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department's top national security official, said at a news conference announcing the case.
Russian official Leonid Slutsky has dismissed allegations that Russian intelligence services planned cyberattacks aimed at disrupting the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
According to the FCO, "disruption to the Winter Olympics could have been greater if it had not been for administrators who worked to isolate the malware and replace affected computers".
Slutsky, who is chairman of the Russian State Duma's Committee for Foreign Affairs, called the accusations voiced by United Kingdom and USA officials an attempt to discredit Russia and undermine its global reputation.
None of the charges involved the current USA presidential campaign, although the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies say Russian Federation continues trying to interfere in US politics. In June 2017, the accused carried out destructive attacks using a malware known as NotPetya, which targeted medical facilities and courier services in Pennsylvania.
"The Department Of Justice needs the tools to investigate them, arrest them during their worldwide travels and bring them to the United States to face the consequences".
The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and false registration of a domain name.