Breaking: DOJ Indicts 7 Russian Intel Officers as Part of “Influence and Disinformation” Campaign

The Department of Justice indicted seven more Russian intelligence officers on Thursday.

The officers will likely never be tried in the United States.

Three of the men were already charged back in July in connection to the Mueller witch hunt against President Trump.

Here is the indictment.

Via Eric Bass: JusticeDept says Russian GRU operatives used cryptocurrencies to launder funds as part of a broader “influence and disinformation” effort that targeted anti-doping groups, among others. Although the conspirators caused transactions to be conducted in a variety of currencies, including U.S. dollars, they principally used bitcoin when purchasing servers, registering domains, and otherwise making payments in furtherance of hacking activity. The use of bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds. According to the DOJ, three of those indicted were previously charged by the U.S. government in July in connection with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Here is the statement from the DOJ released this morning.


U.S. Charges Russian GRU Officers with International Hacking and Related Influence and Disinformation Operations

Conspirators Included a Russian Intelligence “Close Access” Hacking Team that Traveled Abroad to Compromise Computer Networks Used by Anti-Doping and Sporting Officials and Organizations Investigating Russia’s Use of Chemical Weapons

A grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania has indicted seven defendants, all officers in the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, for computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.

According to the indictment, beginning in or around December 2014 and continuing until at least May 2018, the conspiracy conducted persistent and sophisticated computer intrusions affecting U.S. persons, corporate entities, international organizations, and their respective employees located around the world, based on their strategic interest to the Russian government.

Among the goals of the conspiracy was to publicize stolen information as part of an influence and disinformation campaign designed to undermine, retaliate against, and otherwise delegitimize the efforts of international anti-doping organizations and officials who had publicly exposed a Russian state-sponsored athlete doping program and to damage the reputations of athletes around the world by falsely claiming that such athletes were using banned or performance-enhancing drugs.

The charges were announced at a press conference by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott W. Brady, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Cyber Division, Eric Welling, and Director General Mark Flynn for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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