Russia accused of hacking Australian Federal Police

11 March 2020

Written by: Sam Hughes

MH17 trial reveals Russian hacking

Russia’s military intelligence may have hacked the governments of Australia, the Netherlands, Malaysia or Belgium in an attempt to spread misleading information on the 2014 MH17 plane crash, including a forensic analysis by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) according to Dutch prosecutors in the MH17 murder trial.

A website linked to Russia released a leaked AFP report on the Buk-TELAR missile launcher used in the attack, but according to prosecutor Dedy Woei-A-Tsoi, it was “not to share information in a responsible, journalistic manner, but rather to spread disinformation”.

Despite Russia’s denial of their involvement in the hack, Dutch prosecutors condemned Russian authorities for “conducting hacking operations to disrupt the MH17 investigation” and for “constantly spreading misleading information” in regards to the case.

In response to the hack and consequent disinformation campaign by Russia and its effect on the victim’s families AFP Detective-Superintendent David Nelson said, “I don’t think it assists their grieving and ability to follow the trial and know what the facts are.”

The trial has been postponed until March 23 after requests from both the defence and the families of the victims.

The defence team for Russian suspect Oleg Pulatov, the only one of the four defendants with legal representation in the trial, has requested more time to examine the case.

The defendants, Russians Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov, and Igor Girkin and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko, face charges for the murder of 298 people and for causing the Malaysia Airlines flight to crash.

Dutch prosecutors alleged on Monday that the four men, who held senior positions in pro-Russian militias in Eastern Ukraine at the time of the incident, were responsible for obtaining and using the Buk-TELAR missile launcher used to shoot down the aircraft.

PHOTO: By joffi available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.