DOJ accuses 6 Russian intelligence officers of vast computer hacking


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The United States Department of Justice is going after six Russian military intelligence officers for alleged computer attacks.

“No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously and irresponsibly as Russia,” DOJ National Security Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

Demers says this group disrupted a French election, the Winter Olympics, and a hospital system in Pennsylvania.

“The most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group,” Demers said of the alleged hacks.

“While the alleged perpetrators of these crimes were Russian government officials, the victims who suffered real harm as a result of these crimes were often ordinary citizens and businesses around the world,” Western Pennsylvania District Attorney Scott Brady said.

Brady says Heritage Valley Health System suffered from a malware attack in 2017 and lost access to critical patient information.

“While Heritage Valley spent more than $2 million responding to and recovering from the attack, the disruption of critical healthcare to patients cannot be quantified monetarily,” Brady said.

The DOJ noted that these hackers are part of the same intelligence unit which interfered in the 2016 election, but say Americans shouldn’t be concerned about the upcoming election.

“Americans should be confident that a vote cast for their candidate, will be counted for that candidate,” Demers said.

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