CIA Charges 7 Russian Operatives for Anti-Doping Cyber Attacks

Earlier this month, a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted seven Russian military intelligence officers on charges of hacking American and international anti-doping agencies and sports federations, thereby accessing data and medical records of 250 athletes from about 30 countries.

Investigators from the United States Department of Justice claim the hackers accessed the data through cyber attacks on networks and officials at roughly 40 anti-doping agencies and sporting organizations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and FIFA.

In addition to stealing data from these organizations, the hackers also sold information to reporters, at times modifying it beforehand. Other charges include conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Several of the hackers involved with the cyber attacks on WADA, the IOC, and others were “caught red-handed” during an attempted breach of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the Netherlands.

The DOJ alleges that Russia began its cyber attacks one month before the opening of the 2016 Rio Olympics, as a method of retaliation for WADA’s 2016 McLaren Report, which provided evidence of a State-sponsored doping scheme in Russian sports. Though the phrasing “State-sponsored” is no longer used by WADA and has been watered-down following an investigation led by the IOC Disciplinary Committee and its Chair Samuel Schmid, there is still no doubt that a conspiracy to cheat the world anti-doping system existed for years across summer and winter sports, involving athletes, Russian official in the Ministry of Sport, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), and the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, among other. Nonetheless, WADA reinstated RUSADA in September after nearly three years of delinquency, despite the fact that WADA’s original standards for Russian reinstatement were not fully met.

Furthermore, the DOJ claims that if the networks and data that the officers wanted couldn’t be accessed remotely, the Russian officers would travel to other countries in order to hack into Wi-Fi networks and share access with their Russia-based counterparts. Russian officers are said to have traveled to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics where they successfully hacked vital accounts and captured the credentials of an Olympics anti-doping official, which they used to get pilfer the WADA database. According to NPR, the hackers used a Wi-Fi network to steal credentials issued to “a senior USADA anti-doping official,” giving them access to emails including “summaries of athlete test results and prescribed medications.”

The charges also include a hack that took place in September, 2016, in Lausanne, Switzerland, during a WADA conference where a laptop was compromised by the APT 28 malware infection, which eventually compromised the IP addresses of the International Olympic Committee.

As reported by NPR, the seven Russian operatives named are:

Aleksei Sergeyevich Morenets, 41; Evgenii Mikhaylovich Serebriakov, 37; Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov, 32; Artem Andreyevich Malyshev, 30; and Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin, 27 — whom the Justice Department says were assigned to Military Unit No. 26165 — along with GRU officers Oleg Mikhaylovich Sotnikov, 46, and Alexey Valerevich Minin, 46.

The Russian Government is denying the charges.

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4 years ago

Watch Icarus. The Russian’s gave nearly all their athletes performance enhancing drugs, then swapped out their urine through a small hole in the wall (fake electric plug plate). Efimova, who has been busted twice, simply shouldn’t be allowed in International competition. It makes it difficult to know how to feel about WR swims from Morozov and Kolesnikov.

Imagine training twice a day for 15 years to be denied a World Championship or Olympic medal because some Russian cheated with Performance Enhancing Drugs. The IOC screwed up enormously by not banning Russia in Rio when there was definitive evidence of systemic drug cheating by the Russian government.

Reply to  Scribble
4 years ago

Efimova’s second positive test was for Meldonium, a substance WADA claimed to have studied to death but had no idea how long the substance stayed in the body. Athletes were told the substance stayed in the body for 3 months. The fact was that the substance stayed in the body for longer. Also, the substance was in the watch-list (along with most other substance), WADA knew about the substance and then decided to ban. As for swapping sample, many athletes won the case through CAS, Icarus or Rodichenko or McLaren is not the last word in this case. There are other reports talking about doping among Russian athletes without alluding to grand conspiracy.

Anyway, I will take athletes from… Read more »

4 years ago

Oh man if the Russians are willing to do this over sport, imagine what they would do to increase their status as a global superpower. Maybe even interfere with the USA’s elections to help elect a puppet!

4 years ago

Putin said Russia had nothing to do with if. The Donald believes him.

Ole 99
Reply to  Snarky
4 years ago

He was very strong in his denial.

SUM Ting Wong
Reply to  Ole 99
4 years ago

‘Nyet Nyet Nyet .We will bury you from within’ Krushev .

A recent poll had 25% of young Americans identifying as PTSD due to the 2016 election . There is no cure for PTSD other than dulling the brain . I think we need to add a few older folk judging by the comments here.

Reply to  Snarky
4 years ago

There’s only one thing Trump says to Putin, and that is: “What Is thy bidding, my master?” 😀

Vladimir Putin as Emperor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious.
Donald Trump as Count Dooku aka Darth Tyranus.

Love to Swim
Reply to  Stefan
4 years ago

Darth Tyranus hehe

SUM Ting Wong
4 years ago

Under the new law about aiding USA enemies ( which is everybody it seems ) the entire planet will be indicted. I look forward to my trip in an orange pantsuit . I do not want the hood because , you know , hood hair .
Other than that could we perhaps have the data on TUEs freely available . In Australia it is highly protected & not even available to bona fide medical researchers . Some ting Wong !

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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