Kremlin says US, UK accusations of Russian hacking ‘groundless’

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Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a government meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on March 26, 2014. Siemens AG CEO Joe Kaeser told today Putin the German industrial giant plans long-term investment in Russia, in a key sign of confidence in Russia's economy despite the outcry over its intervention in Crimea. AFP PHOTO / RIA-NOVOSTI /POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEVMIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images

The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed as “groundless” warnings from Britain and the United States that Russian state-sponsored hackers were threatening their crucial computer networks.

“We don’t know what these new accusations are based on,” said President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“As before, neither our American nor our British colleagues have bothered to search for arguments, even weak ones,” he said during a regular briefing.

Peskov added that the claims were “groundless” and “unjustified”.

Washington and London said in a joint statement Monday that Russia’s hacking operation aimed “to support espionage, extract intellectual property, maintain persistent access to victim networks and potentially lay a foundation for future offensive operations”.

The US Department of Homeland Security said the hacking was part of a broad operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe, which DHS says comprises concerting cyber attacks by Moscow’s civilian and military intelligence agencies.

The announcement came in an unprecedented joint alert that underscored closer cooperation between Western governments fighting what they say is an ongoing, multi-faceted hacking and online disinformation campaign by Moscow.

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