Six Russian military intelligence officials have been charged for unleashing cyber attacks that caused billions of dollars in damages across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI have laid charges against six officers of the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate’s (GRU) Military Unit 74455.
The US has alleged that the Russian officials used destructive malware to launch a cyber-attack from Ukraine, which caused billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
According to the US Department of Defence, the GRU’s NotPetya cyber attack disrupted the delivery of critical infrastructure services to the public, including in the transportation and healthcare sectors.
The indictment also references another GRU cyber attack, which allegedly resulted in the disruption of critical electrical distribution networks and financial services in Ukraine.
Other cyber attacks noted in the indictment include the targeting of organisations investigating the 2018 nerve agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and others in the UK, and malicious cyber activity targeting government entities and private companies in Georgia and elections in France.
“[These] cyber activities demonstrate a complete disregard for public safety and international stability,” the US DOD said in a statement.
“Russia, which presents itself as a champion of stability in cyber space, is in fact one of the global internet’s greatest disruptors.
“We call on Russia to put an end to its irresponsible behaviour. Furthermore, we call upon all states that wish to see greater stability in cyber space to join us in helping bring the actors charged today to justice.”