Dutch thwart Russian cyberattack on chemical weapons watchdog — intel agency

Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld, left, said that the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives was extremely worrisome. (AFP)
Updated 04 October 2018
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Dutch thwart Russian cyberattack on chemical weapons watchdog — intel agency

THE HAGUE: Dutch intelligence thwarted a Russian cyberattack targeting the global chemical weapons watchdog in April and expelled four Russian agents, the government said Thursday.
The Russians set up a car full of electronic equipment in the car park of a hotel next to the Organization for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons in The Hague in a bid to hack its computer system, it said.
“The Dutch government finds the involvement of these intelligence operatives extremely worrisome,” Dutch Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld told a news conference.
“Normally we don’t reveal this type of counter-intelligence operation.”
The Netherlands publicly identified the alleged Russian agents and said the operation was carried out by Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency, Dutch officials said.
Britain helped the Netherlands with the operation, they added.
A laptop belonging to one of the four was linked to Brazil, Switzerland and Malaysia. The activities in Malaysia were related to the investigation into the 2014 shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine, Bijleveld added.


US military helicopter destroyed in Afghanistan ‘hard landing’

Updated 3 min 19 sec ago
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US military helicopter destroyed in Afghanistan ‘hard landing’

  • The helicopter “hit the ground hard on the way to drop passengers off” during a mission in Helmand province
  • It had been totally destroyed during the landing

KABUL: Passengers and crew aboard a US military helicopter were injured when the chopper they were traveling in was destroyed during a “hard landing” in Afghanistan, a US official said Saturday.
According to Col. David Butler, a spokesman for US Forces Afghanistan, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter “hit the ground hard on the way to drop passengers off” during a mission in Helmand province.
Butler said the helicopter had been totally destroyed during the landing.
“Both Afghan and US personnel were injured but all are stable and expected to recover,” he told AFP.
“No hostile fire or enemy contact involved.”
Chinooks, easily recognizable because they have one rotor at the front and one at the back, are the workhorse aircraft for foreign forces in Afghanistan, and are used to ferry troops and supplies across the country.