Six charged over Maersk/APMT cyber attack
Six Russian intelligence officers have been charged by the US Department of Justice (US DOJ) over multiple hacking incidents, including the June 2017 NotPetya malware attack that hit Maersk subsidiary APM Terminals (APMT).
According to the indictment, beginning in or around November 2015 and continuing until at least in or around October 2019, the defendants and their co-conspirators deployed destructive malware and took other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia. As well as APMT, the attacks disrupted the 2017 French Elections and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games amongst other activities.
“No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. He added that “the department has charged these Russian officers with conducting the most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group, including by unleashing the NotPetya malware".
The computer hackers were residents and nationals of Russia and officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), a military intelligence agency of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, according the US DOJ.
The NotPetya malware spread worldwide, damaged computers used in critical infrastructure, and caused enormous financial losses.
The defendants are all charged in seven counts: conspiracy to conduct computer fraud and abuse, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, damaging protected computers, and aggravated identity theft. Each defendant is charged in every count.