Dutch, British PMs denounce Russian cyber attacks: "reckless, destructive"

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his British counterpart Theresa May released a joint statement in which they denounced cyber attacks by Russian secret service GRU as unacceptable. They called attacks on international organizations like the United Nations' Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reckless and destructive.

Earlier on Thursday military intelligence service MIVD revealed that they, with the help of British partners, prevented a Russian hacking operation against the OPCW, which is based in The Hague. Four Russian secret agents were caught trying to hack into the OPCW's WiFi network on April 13th. At that time the OPCW was investigating a nerve gas attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. The four Russian agents were deported from the Netherlands the same day.

"The operations that we have made public today show that the Russian military intelligence service GRU is deploying unacceptable cyber operations", the two Prime Ministers said in their joint statement. "This attempt to gain access to the secure systems of an international organization, which is working worldwide for the elimination of chemical weapons, once again shows that the GRU does not care about the legal order that protects all of us."

"The reckless operations of the GRU vary from destructive cyber operations to the use of chemical agents, as we have seen in Salisbury", they said. "Our action today confirms the clear message of the international community: we will continue to defend the international legal order and continue to protect international organizations."

Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands for an explanation.