Russian military officials tried to thwart a French presidential election, Winter Olympics and US businesses in “the most disruptive and destructive series of computer attacks ever attributed to a single group,” according to an indictment and the feds Monday.
The indictment also says the defendants, members of the Russian military group known as the GRU, attacked Ukraine’s power grid.
The suspects aimed to hack into their targets’ online systems, including those of the political party of French President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, with plans to leak damaging information, according to the US Justice Department document.
Also in their crosshairs were the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Athletes from Russia were banned from the event because of a doping scandal.
“No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite,” said Assistant Attorney General and top US national-security official John Demers — adding that the computer attack was “the single most disruptive and destructive” ever by one group.