US charges Russian GRU officers for NotPetya, other major hacks
On Monday, the Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury had charged six Russian intelligence officers labeled the Sandword team responsible for notoriously destructive attacks spanning the globe. The group has been traced back to the 2017 NotPetya outbreak that caused over $1 billion in damage to US organizations as well as $10 billion in worldwide costs. The six hackers, according to officials, work for the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) that has also been connected to US election interference in 2016 and some of the most well-known disruptive cyberattacks.
Sandworm was also responsible for a series of malware attacks occurring in December 2015 that disrupted Ukraine’s electricity grid, a very costly and dangerous endeavor. Other attacks include interference in the French election, attacks related to the Winter Olympics when Russia was accused of a doping issue among athletes, and spearphishing attacks aiming to harm an investigation looking into the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skirpal in 2018. The returned indictment represents a huge turnover in the cybersecurity sector as these actors are believed to be behind some of the most high-profile attacks in history.