The US Department of Justice has accused six Russian intelligence officers of being involved in a widespread piracy campaign, including the Petya ransom attacks in 2017 and attacks targeting Ukraine in 2015.
According to the indictment, the efforts have also targeted Georgia’s country, the French elections, the 2018 Winter Olympics, and investigations into the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal.
Several specific incidents included in the indictment were previously reported, but no agency has publicly charged the GRU with masterminding the attacks.
One of the six defendants, Anatoliy Kovalev, was included in the Democratic National Committee’s indictments.
The new indictment alleges that the KGB launched an international cyberattacks campaign and political influence campaigns to advance Russian national interests.
The major destructive attacks against Ukraine’s power grids came in 2015. The attack penetrated all major power distribution companies’ internal networks, leaving more than 200,000 people without electricity in the winter.
As with previous indictments against foreign infiltrators, Russia is unlikely to extradite the accused, and it is unlikely that they will ever be prosecuted.
The new indictment is a milestone in ongoing efforts to hold GRU accountable for its digital attacks and result from more than two years of investigation by the FBI.
“ These criminals have downplayed the importance of sharing information, resources, and expertise between law enforcement agencies, the private sector, and international partnerships, ” Michael Christman, the FBI special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh field office, said in a statement.