Twelve Russian nationals have been indicted for committing federal crimes that were intended to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. All twelve defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian Federation intelligence agency within the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian military. These GRU officers tried to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, and released that information on the internet under the names “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0” and through another entity.
The US Department of Justice said the Russian officials paid for hackings using cryptocurrency and coordinated with each other using advanced softwares that were difficult to trace.
Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, Boris Alekseyevich Antonov, Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin, Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov, Aleksey Viktorovich Lukashev, Sergey Aleksandrovich Morgachev, Nikolay Yuryevich Kozachek, Pavel Vyacheslavovich Yershov, Artem Andreyevich Malyshev, Aleksandr Vladimirovich Osadchuk, Aleksey Aleksandrovich Potemkin, and Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev were officials in Unit 26165 and Unit 74455 of the Russian government’s Main Intelligence Directorate.
The indictment includes 11 criminal counts:
* Count One alleges a criminal conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States through cyber operations by the GRU that involved the staged release of stolen documents for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 president election;
* Counts Two through Nine charge aggravated identity theft for using identification belonging to eight victims to further their computer fraud scheme;
* Count Ten alleges a conspiracy to launder money in which the defendants laundered the equivalent of more than $95,000 by transferring the money that they used to purchase servers and to fund other costs related to their hacking activities through cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin; and
* Count Eleven charges conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by attempting to hack into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and US companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections.
There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity or knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the vote count or changed the outcome of the 2016 election.