Bitcoin was used to fund Russia’s cyberattacks, Justice Department says


Bitcoin was used to fund Russia’s hacking efforts, a Justice Department indictment alleges.

The Justice Department indictment against seven Russian military officers for a series of alleged cyber attacks unveiled Thursday contained another allegation that Russia turned to Bitcoin to fund its efforts.

The indictment alleges that from December 2014 to at least May 2018, several organizations, companies and individuals were hacked to promote strategic Russian interests, notably a bid to delegitimize the efforts of international anti-doping organizations.

Read: U.S. indicts seven Russian military officers for cyber attacks

Russia also allegedly attempted to hack into the networks of the independent agency testing the chemical agent that the United Kingdom authorities connected to the poisoning of a former GRU officer in that country, as well as information from Pittsburgh-based nuclear power and technology firm Westinghouse Electric Co., which has been supplying Russian regional adversary Ukraine with increasing amounts of nuclear fuel.

The indictment alleges that Bitcoin

BTCUSD, +1.69%

was at the heart of the efforts, saying it was “principally used” as a means to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds.

As with Russia’s election-related hacking, the GRU also used Bitcoin to fund their operations with respect to doping, per @TheJusticeDept indictment

— Steve Goldstein (@MKTWgoldstein) October 4, 2018

Bitcoin also was used by Russia in the hacking campaign during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to special counsel Robert Mueller, for the same reason.

The Justice Department said that the new case — which involves three of the same defendants — didn’t stem from Mueller’s work.

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