US Justice Dept. Indicts 7 Russian Intelligence Officers In Hacking Scheme

 The Justice Department on Thursday announced criminal charges against seven Russian intelligence officers, accusing them in a sprawling indictment of hacking, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering as part of an effort to distract from Russia’s state-sponsored doping program.
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Three of the defendants were also charged in the hacking of US persons involved in the 2016 election, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers said during a news conference, but the current indictment does not arise out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s work.
According to the indictment, the defendants — all members of the GRU, a Russian Federation intelligence agency within the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian military — engaged in a series of cyberattacks against anti-doping agencies and officials, sporting federations and more than 250 athletes in retaliation for the exposure of Russia’s state-backed doping program.
“All of this was done to undermine those organizations’ efforts to ensure the integrity of the Olympic and other games,” Demers said. “I hope that through today’s charges, which fall far from the electoral arena of our prior charges, we can further educate ourselves as to the scope of the Russian government’s disinformation and influence campaigns.”

Through the use of spearphishing emails, stolen credentials and other cyberintrusions, a group calling itself the “Fancy Bears’ Hack Team” publicized medical information and drug testing results of athletes and peddled a false narrative that certain athletes were using performance-enhancing drugs, prosecutors alleged Thursday.

Several of the indicted were previously indicted by Mueller for 2016 and ongoing election hacking.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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