US indicts 6 Russians for NotPetya cyberattack

The US Department of Justice has charged six Russian intelligence agents in connection with worldwide hacking attacks, including the NotPetya ransomware offence that penetrated Maersk’s IT systems in June 2017.

The six agents are alleged to have engaged in computer attacks intended to support Russian government efforts to undermine, retaliate against, or otherwise destabilise Ukraine, Georgia, French elections in 2017, efforts to hold Russia accountable for the use of a weapons-grade nerve agent in the UK, and the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

Assistant attorney general for national security John C. Demers said: “No country has weaponised its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite.

“Today the department has charged these Russian officers with conducting the most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group, including by unleashing the NotPetya malware.  No nation will recapture greatness while behaving in this way.”

David Bowdich, deputy director, Federal Βureau οf Ιnvestigatiοn, added: “The FBI has repeatedly warned that Russia is a highly capable cyber adversary, and the information revealed in this indictment illustrates how pervasive and destructive Russia’s cyber activities truly are,”

The defendants, Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, 32; Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, 35; Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, 28; Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, 29; Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko, 27; and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin, 32, are all charged in seven counts.

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