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DOJ Charges 6 Russians With Worldwide Hacking, Targets Include France, Ukraine And 2018 Olympics

(Photo credit JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday indictments for six Russian military hackers who were part of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).

“No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously and irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented collateral damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said Monday.

The six hackers began their work in 2015, according to the DOJ. The hackers “engaged in computer intrusions and attacks” to undermine, retaliate against and destabilize foreign nations and foreign elections. Between December 2015 and 2016 the hackers used destructive malware against Ukraine’s power grid, Ministry of Finance and State Treasury Service. (RELATED: ‘Putting Was Behind The Crime’: Poisoning Victim Blames Russian President)

The hackers also engaged in “hack-and-leak” efforts targeting French President Emmanuel Macron’s political party, French politicians and local French governments in 2017. Hackers released stolen documents just as voting was beginning to try and hurt Macron, according to The New York Times.

Further, the hackers targeted the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

The hackers were from the same Russian unit that interfered in the 2016 American election that led to the theft of Democratic emails. One of the hackers, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, was indicted two years ago over his alleged role in the 2016 election meddling.

It’s unclear whether Russia will hand over the individuals to stand trial.