The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted seven alleged Russian intelligence agents accused of hacking into sports officials’ computers and using cryptocurrencies as part of a broad “influence and disinformation” scheme.

The government alleges the seven hacked into computer networks used by anti-doping and sporting officials, as well as groups investigating Russia’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

Where does cryptocurrency come in? “In those instances where conspirators purchased hacking infrastructure, payments were made using a complex web of transactions involving operational accounts in fictitious names and typically utilized cryptocurrencies” such as bitcoin (BTC) “to further mask their identities and conduct,” according to the indictment. Bitcoin was the only currency mentioned by name.

This investigation is not directly related to the one involving Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. However, John Demers, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s national security division, said during a press conference three of the named defendants were previously charged in connection with that probe.

ThirtyK Staff
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