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The US government on Monday formally charged six Russian intelligence officers for carrying out destructive malware attacks with an aim to disrupt and destabilize other nations and cause monetary losses.

The individuals, who work for Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), have been accused of perpetrating the “most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group,” according to the Justice Department (DoJ).

All the six men — Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko, and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin — have been charged with seven counts of conspiracy to conduct computer fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, damaging protected computers, and aggravated identity theft.

“The object of the conspiracy was to deploy destructive malware and take other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia, through unauthorized access (‘hacking’) of victim computers,” the prosecutors said.

“In furtherance of the conspiracy, Andrienko, Detistov, Frolov, Kovalev, Ochichenko, Pliskin, and others known and unknown to the grand jury procured, maintained, and utilized servers, email accounts, malicious mobile applications, and related hacking infrastructure to engage in spear-phishing campaigns and other network intrusion methods against computers used by the victims.”

images from Hacker News