Ukraine, Justice Department, Russia discussed on Morning Edition
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These attacks are a big deal, officials and experts say that there's some of the most damaging cyber attacks that we've seen in recent years on the indictment spells them all out. It starts with Cyber attacks that targeted Ukraine's electricity grid. Back in the winner's of 2015 and 2016. Here's how the head of the Justice Department's National security division, John Dimmers, described those thes attacks turned out the lights and turned off the heat. In the middle of the eastern European winter as the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian men, women and Children when dark and cold Now the defendants are also accused of a really nasty cyberattack known is not Pecchia. That initially targeted you targeted Ukraine but very quickly spread across the globe. It caused billions of dollars in damages included in the United States. The indictment says that it knocked a hospital system in Pennsylvania offline, including its critical systems. On one company in the U. S. According to the indictment spent half a billion dollars. Dealing with the fallout from that attack was that's a lot of money and also in the case of Ukraine. A lot of people are lot of people hurt. Absolutely absolutely. And there's more in the indictment, more attacks there allegedly conducted a hack and leak operation in the run up to France's 2017 election that targeted the campaign of the now president of France, Emmanuel Macron. Then there are cyberattacks heart targeting the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. There's an interesting thing in the indictment here, saying that the Russians tried to leave digital fingerprints behind a frame North Korea for that one on. Finally, there are hacks that targeted the investigations. That British and international authorities were conducting into the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK with a nerve agent. Who are these guys that the Justice Department is charging. So the department says that all six men who are facing charges are current or former members of Russia's military intelligence CIA intelligence agency. That's the GR EW. It's the same Russian intelligence service that was responsible for some of the hacks that we saw targeting the U. S election back in 2016. Interestingly, one of the defendants here was also charged as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation back in 2018, But this new indictment and the allegations that are in it, it shows what Justice Department officials say. Is really Russia's reckless use of cyber attacks. Here again is the Justice Department's John Murmurs. No country has weaponized. It's cyber capabilities. Has maliciously and irresponsibly as Russia. Wantonly, causing unprecedented collateral damage to pursue small tactical advantages and fits of spite. Now, the DOJ says these attacks pursued Russia's geo political goals. Take Ukraine, for example, Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a worn out for several years in eastern Ukraine. Now hacks targeting the 2018 Olympics Olympics could be seen. Maura's A fit of spite is dimmers Put it there. Russian athletes were banned from competing under the Russian flag because of a massive state sponsored doping scandal in Russia really runs the gamut. Let me ask you, lastly to the GR, you meddled in the 2016 election does this indictment say, or suggests that they're interfering in this election? There's nothing related to that in this indictment, and U. S. Officials said in announcing these charges that the timing was not tied it all to the political schedule that said, this is a good reminder of what Russian state hackers are capable of. On. It also makes clear that they didn't tone it down after the US called the Russians out for election interference back in 2016. In this case, none of the defendants eyes in U. S custody. It's unlikely that any of them ever will be Still, U. S. Officials say it is worth putting the way to the U. S government behind these allegations and calling rush out. Justice correspondent Ryan Lucas. Thanks, Ryan. Thank you. Today, the space agency NASA will try to land a spacecraft on an asteroid ah, hunk of rock in space that is roughly the size of a large building on earth. The spacecraft only needs to stay there for 5 to 10 seconds just long enough to collect some dust and rocks, which is pretty cool. If it works, which it might not. Here's NPR's Nell Greenfield voice. The asteroid is named Ben. You It's about 200 million miles away, and it's a potentially dangerous asteroid. Our most recent calculations suggest that it has about a one in 2700 chance of impacting the earth. Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona is the principal investigator for a NASA mission called Oh, Cyrus Rex. He says. The good news is this asteroid wouldn't hit Earth for at least 150 years and part of the Cyrus Rex mission is to better understand that impact probability. What's more, asteroids are like pristine relics of the early solar system undisturbed leftovers from when the planets first formed. So NASA isn't the only space agency interested in asteroids. Japan's has already collected a tiny amount of asteroid material that's on its way back to Earth. It will get here in December. Lori Glazes, head of NASA's planetary science division, She says the agencies have been collaborating and of course, we'll be exchanging portions of each other's sample so that we can maximize the science, assuming NASA's effort goes off without a hitch. It's probe arrived at Ben knew a couple years ago, giving researchers there first up close view of this asteroid, Lauretta says they were expecting a smooth sandy surface immediately. I was struck by how rough and rugged and rocky the surface Wass, it's been a real challenge to find a relatively rock free spot where the probe could be ordered to briefly touched down. Later today, operators will send the go command. As the spacecraft leaves orbit and ventures down. The scientists will only be able to watch a trickle of data coming back. There's nothing we can do to change the course of events. In fact, by the time we get the data, everything that happened was 18.5 minutes in the past because that's how far away the spacecraft is from the Earth. The spacecraft, which is about the size of a big passenger van will head to a crater that's about the size of a tennis court. But it's Old with boulders. So we're actually targeting a site about half that size about 10 M. Across this is roughly the size of a few parking spaces in a parking lot. If the spacecrafts onboard systems decide that it's likely to hit a dangerous rock, it might call off the attempt. If everything goes just right. The research team will know right away if they have touched the surface, knowing if they've got a sample will take longer Bath. Buck is the mission operations program manager at Lockheed Martin Space. Our first imagery will start coming in on Wednesday, and that will give us a much better feel for whether we have a sample. Or not, and how the spacecraft is actually performing. With luck. They'll have collected everything from tiny grains to stones. Nearly an inch across Heather E. Knows of the University of Arizona is the deputy principal investigator for the mission. The best outcome would be that we would collect A mass of sample and we say we have a requirement of 60 grand or two ounces, but we have the capability of collecting up 2 kg and I would love for that capsule to be completely full. By October 30th. The team will decide whether or not to try another sample collection attempt in January, and in March, the spacecraft will start its two year journey back home. Nell Greenfield. Boyce. NPR NEWS This's NPR news. WNYC supporters include Geico insurance, celebrating Over 75.