Dutch authorities expels four Russians over attempts to hack chemical weapons watchdog

Dutch security services expelled four Russians over a cyber plot in April targeting the global chemical weapons watchdog, officials said.

The operation by Russia's GRU military intelligence allegedly targeted the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.

The OPCW has been probing the chemical attack on a Russian ex-spy in the UK.

The allegations are part of an organised
push-back against alleged Russian cyber attacks around the world.

Earlier, UK government accused the GRU of being behind four high-profile cyber-attacks whose targets included included firms in Russia and Ukraine; the US Democratic Party; and a small TV network in the UK.

Russia has called the accusations a "diabolical cocktail" of allegations.

- Closed access hack -

The four suspects identified by Dutch officials had diplomatic passports and included an IT expert as well as support agents, officials said.

They hired a car and were seen to be scouting to carry out a closed access hack operation targeting the OPCW.

A laptop seized from the suspects was found to have been used in Brazil, Switzerland and Malaysia.

In Malaysia it was used to target the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board

Earlier this year Dutch-led international investigators concluded that the missile belonged to a Russian brigade. Russia has denied any involvement in the plane's destruction.


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