WEST accuses Russia of Hacking conspiracy:

THE HAGUE : Western powers accused Russia on Thursday of orchestrating a string of global cyber attacks including an audacious plot to hack the world's chemical weapons watchdog in the Netherlands.

The United States indicted seven alleged Russian members of the GRU military intelligence agency over attacks on targets including the Hague-based OPCW, the US Democratic Party. world sports bodies and US nuclear energy company Westinghouse.

The charges came as part of  joint crackdown by Britain, The Netherlands, Canada and the United States against a string hacking attempts by what London called ''pariah state'' Russia.

Russia scathingly accused the West of ''spy mania'', while Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly and angrily rejected similar charges.

In scenes reminiscent of a Cold War spy novel, Dutch security services said they had expelled four Russian GRU agents in April after they attempted a cyber attack on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW], from a car parked in a nearby hotel.

The OPCW was at the time probing the nerve agent poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, and an alleged chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma by the Moscow backed regime in Damascus.

The Dutch and British Prime Ministers Mark Rutte and Theresa May in a joint statement accused the  GRU of ''disregard for global values'' and lashed out at the Russia agencies ''unacceptable cyber activities''.

John Demers, US Assistant Attorney General for National Security, confirmed that known attack targets including the OPCW, sports bodies including Fifa and the World Antidoping Agency  [WADA] and Westinghouse. [AFP]


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