The Straits Times says

Taking the war to keyboard warriors

A rash of allegations targeting Russian computer hacking agents has surfaced recently. In quick succession, Britain, the United States, Canada and the Netherlands fingered agents sent by the GRU, the military intelligence outfit that works in close collaboration with the FSB - as the KGB is currently known - for a variety of audacious attempts to lift intelligence electronically. These included attempts to hack the Wi-Fi of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - the body investigating the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy given refuge in Britain; the hacking of the Democratic campaign during the 2016 US election; the infiltration of a UK television network; and others.

The clear signs that the Western nations have coordinated their pushback suggest that this is a warning to Russia's intelligence apparatus that while it may seek to hide, it ultimately has nowhere to run - and will be outed. The Dutch disclosed that their counter-intelligence tracked the Russians from the moment they entered the country, while covertly surveying the targets, and while setting up the close access hack system with which they hoped to steal passwords of key OPCW staff. They also revealed that the laptop seized from the suspects was used earlier in Switzerland and Malaysia - suggesting the Russians were looking for what other governments knew of the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2018, with the headline 'Taking the war to keyboard warriors'. Subscribe