The Latest: Dutch: GRU targeted chemical weapons watchdog

LONDON — The Latest on a new wave of global cyberattacks blamed on Russia (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

The Dutch defense minister says Russia‘s military intelligence unit attempted cybercrimes targeting the U.N. chemical weapons watchdog and the investigation into the 2014 Malaysian Airlines crash over Ukraine.

Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said the GRU‘s hacking attempts on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which she said took place in April, were disrupted by authorities. Four Russian intelligence officers were immediately expelled from the Netherlands, she said. 

Speaking about Russia‘s hacking attempts into the MH17 crash investigation Thursday, she said: “We have been aware of the interest of Russian intelligence services in this investigation and have taken appropriate measures.” She added that “We remain very alert about this.” 


10:30 a.m.

Russia‘s foreign ministry has denied allegations by British and Australian authorities that the Russian military intelligence agency GRU was behind a fresh wave of global cybercrimes.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday dismissed the new accusations as “big fantasies.”

Britain‘s National Cyber Security Center cited four new attacks associated with the GRU targeting the World Anti-Doping agency, Ukrainian transport systems, the 2016 U.S. presidential race and others.

British officials earlier blamed the GRU for the March nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.


8:20 a.m.

Britain‘s defense minister says a series of global cyberattacks blamed on Russia are the actions of a “pariah state” and that the U.K. and its NATO allies will expose such activities in the future.

Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said Thursday that “where Russia acts in an indiscriminate and reckless way, where they have done in terms of these cyberattacks, we will be exposing them.”

His remarks came after British and Australian officials said the Russian military intelligence unit GRU is behind a wave of global cyberattacks.

Britain‘s National Cyber Security Center says four new attacks are associated with GRU as well as earlier cyberattacks.

Williamson said: “This is not the actions of a great power. This is the actions of a pariah state.”