Seven Russian Hackers Indicted in Connection with Olympics Doping Scheme

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has announced that seven Russian hackers working on behalf of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (known as “GRU”) were indicted for their involvement in a major international cyber-campaign that began in the lead-up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

The seven indicted Russian operatives are said to have “hacked U.S. and international anti-doping agencies, anti-doping officials, other international organizations, and one major corporation.”seven russians

In its announcement of the indictments, the FBI provides examples of the actions taken by the hackers:

"During the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the GRU agents sent spear-phishing e-mails that enabled them to find the credentials of an anti-doping official, providing access to sensitive databases. Additionally, coordinating with hackers back in Russia, two members of the group traveled to Rio on another occasion to engage in ‘close access’ cyber operations on a hotel Wi-Fi network that anti-doping officials were using. This gave them access to an anti-doping official’s e-mail account with sensitive information in it.”

The defendants face charges including conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

As a result of Russia’s now-revealed efforts to conduct and cover-up widespread illegal doping amongst many of its globally competitive athletes, the nation was ultimately banned by the International Olympic Committee – a body that has faced far more than its own share of both related and unrelated ethics questions – from participation in the 2014 games, later limiting Russian participation in the 2016 games, and again banning Russia from participating in the 2018 games, “though some Russian athletes, who were not doping, were allowed to participate under the Olympic flag,” according to the FBI.

Posted in The Takedown

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