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UK and Australia blame Russian unit GRU for cyberattacks

October 4, 2018

Secretary of State for Existing the European Union Dominic Raab, second left, and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt, second right, in the audience before Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister Theresa May's speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the ICC, in Birmingham, England, Wednesday, Oct. 3 , 2018. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

LONDON (AP) — British and Australian officials said on Thursday the Russian military intelligence unit GRU is behind a wave of global cyberattacks.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Thursday the GRU is responsible for “indiscriminate and reckless” attacks against political institutions, businesses, media and sports.

Britain’s National Cyber Security Center has concluded that hackers behind numerous attacks have been identified as GRU personnel. The agency says four new attacks are associated with GRU as well as earlier cyberattacks.

It cites attacks on the World Anti-Doping agency, Ukrainian transport systems, the 2016 U.S. presidential race and others as very likely the work of the GRU.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne issued a joint statement that Australian intelligence agencies agreed that GRU “is responsible for this pattern of malicious cyber activity.” They said Australia was not significantly impacted, but the cyberattacks caused economic damage and disrupted civilian infrastructure in other places.

British officials earlier blamed the GRU for the March nerve agent attack on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Russia denies any involvement.

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