Report: Russia behind cyberattacks on MH17 investigation team

Dutch Safety Board's final report presentation on MH17 investigation (Photo: NL Times/Zachary Newmark)Dutch Safety Board's final report presentation on MH17 investigation (Photo: NL Times/Zachary Newmark)

Russian secret services were behind cyber attacks on the Dutch Safety Board's computers last year, according to the German intelligence service Bundesverfassungsschutz (BfV) in a report on Russia's digital espionage activities. According to the service, the Russians were trying to get hold of information about MH17, the Telegraaf reports.

The BfV calls the cyber attacks on the Safety Board a typical example of short and event-focused espionage by Russia's domestic secret service FSB and foreign military intelligence service GRU. The German service does not state whether these hackers succeeded in getting their hands on Safety Board secrets. "We make nu further announcement", spokesperson Angela Pley said.

The Dutch Safety Board would not comment on Moscow's alleged involvement in the attacks, according to the newspaper. The cyber attacks were initially attributed to a hacker group believed to have a Russian background. At the time the Board said there was no evidence that the break in attempts were successful. But the board did put additional safeguards on its systems and started storing data in a scattered way.

The Safety Board's final report on the MH17 disaster in eastern Ukraine was published in October last year. The first of the cyber attacks was discovered in September - a login page popped up which looked like the Safety Board's login, with which the attackers tried to get access to login details. The later attack targeted a Safety Board Server where users communicate confidentially with each other.