6 Russians charged over most ‘destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group’

‘No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia,’ said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers, shown here on Oct. 7. PHOTO: JIM WATSON/PRESS POOL

Federal prosecutors on Monday unsealed grand jury indictments against six Russian intelligence officers accused of involvement in a series of damaging cyberattacks around the world.

The Russians worked for the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU, which operated the hacking unit that the United States has linked to 2016 election interference, “for the strategic benefit of Russia.”

The Justice Department said the six officers charged were involved in numerous attacks conducted from 2015 through 2019, including one that knocked out Ukraine’s power grid and another that exposed emails from the French president’s party.

The alleged hackers used “destructive malware attacks that infected computers worldwide” and led to nearly $1 billion in losses, officials said.

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