The Justice Department unveiled charges Thursday against seven Russian military intelligence officials for their role in a sweeping cyberattack aimed at U.S. and international organizations that exposed a Kremlin-sponsored doping conspiracy tied to Russian athletes banned from the Olympics.
Trump administration officials rolled out the 41-page indictment, filed in federal district court in Pittsburgh, naming members of Russia’s secretive spy service known as the GRU for launching a four-year hacking campaign against the Colorado-based U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency and several other global sporting groups.
The latest charges against Russian hackers once again underscore the sharp contrast between President Donald Trump and many in his administration — as well as U.S. allies — when it comes to speaking out against Moscow’s operations against the U.S. and other international targets.
The Russian hackers — charged in the U.S. with conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering — targeted organizations that had uncovered a sweeping Moscow-driven doping scheme that led to the country’s athletes being banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil and the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
With stolen personal information of 250 rival athletes from 30 countries, the hackers engaged in a much publicized “influence and disinformation campaign designed to undermine the legitimate interests of the victims, further Russian interests, retaliate against Russia’s detractors and sway public opinion in Russian’s favor,” the indictment said.