Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said that Dutch authorities had disrupted a cyber attack plot involving multiple GRU agents against the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The GRU is the Russian military's intelligence arm, also known as the Main Intelligence Directorate.
As stated by Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld, the cyber attack attempts were blocked on April 13th and this lead to the expulsion of four Russian intelligence officers which were escorted out of Netherlands.
The GRU operatives named by the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (Militaire Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst - MIVD) are two hackers Yevgeny Serebriakov and Alexei Morenetz, and their two support agents Alexei Minin and Oleg Sotnikov.
Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten said that "this cyber operation against the OPCW is unacceptable. By revealing this Russian action, we send out a clear message: Russia must stop this."
According to official statements, the four GRU agents were known as Unit 26165 operatives, also known as Fancy Bear (also known as APT28, Pawn Storm, Sofacy Group, Sednit, and STRONTIUM).
The four GRU operatives are known to be Unit 26165 agents, aka APT28, Fancy Bear, Pawn Storm, Sofacy Group, Sednit, STRONTIUM
Peter Wilson, UK's ambassador to the Netherlands, told the BBC that the unit had "sent officers around the world to conduct brazen close access cyber operations" involving Wi-Fi networks hacking among other infiltration techniques.
Using intelligence from UK agents, the Dutch MIVD were able to find out that the GRU hacking team was planning an operation using a new technique at the OPCW.
When intercepted, the boot of the car they were in contained hacking equipment one can use to intercept login details and the antenna used to access Wi-Fi networks was pointed at the OPCW headquarters.
One of the laptops the Dutch captured from the four GRU officers shown that the team traveled to Malaysia, Brazil, and Switzerland, also linking the Russian operatives to attacks targeting the MH-17 crash investigation, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which exposed Russian athletes doping practices.
A few hours after Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld's announcement, The U.S. Justice Department also stated that seven Russian military intelligence agents are being charged with hacking anti-doping agencies and other international organizations.