A grand jury in Pennsylvania has indicted seven Russian intelligence officers from the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) for “computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering” in connection with hacking athlete information at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, the US Department of Justice announced on Thursday.
The charges relate, in part, to a scheme operated under the guise of the ‘Fancy Bear’ hacking group that publicly disclosed confidential medical information for athletes including Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome after the Rio Games.
According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the hackers “conducted persistent and sophisticated computer intrusions”, while working for the Russian government, that were “criminal, retaliatory, and damaging to innocent victims and the United States’ economy, as well as to world organizations.”
The indicted individuals were Russian nationals and residents: Aleksei Sergeyevich Morenets, 41, Evgenii Mikhaylovich Serebriakov, 37, Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov, 32, Artem Andreyevich Malyshev, 30, and Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin, 27, who, according to the DOJ, were part of Military Unit 26165. Also indicted were GRU officers Oleg Mikhaylovich Sotnikov, 46, and Alexey Valerevich Minin, 46.
In 2016, after Russian athletes were excluded from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hackers operating as ‘Fancy Bear’ accessed a World Anti-Doping Agency “Anti-Doping Administration and Management System” [ADAMS] created specifically for the Rio Games, gaining access to TUE information for all the athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.
The hackers then made public TUE applications for numerous athletes, including Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Emma Johansson, Fabian Cancellara, Stephen Cummings, Jakob Fuglsang, Jack Bobridge and Laura Trott. The hackers are also suspected in a failed attempt to access the UK Anti-Doping Agency’s systems.
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