MH17 hacks: Russia behind ‘bombing executions’
EXCLUSIVE: WESTERN intelligence suspect Russian interference of the MH17 probe includes attempts to hack the Malaysian and Australia government servers and the assassination of three Ukraine separatist leaders with intimate knowledge of the downing of the aircraft.
The revelation comes as the West and Russia yesterday traded allegations following Dutch authorities releasing photographs and details of four bungling agents from Russian military intelligence known as GRU attempting to hack the international chemical weapons watchdog.
News Corp Australia can reveal intelligence agents from Five Eyes allies including Australia, Britain and the US had tracked GRU agents in Kuala Lumpur, suspected to have been specifically deployed to hack the Malaysian parliament in relation to its MH17 investigation.
The incident in 2015 also allegedly involved the agents breaking into the hotel room of persons linked to the probe of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was on route from the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur in July 2014 when it was shot down by a ground-to-air missile over east Ukraine killing all 298 on board including 38 Australians.
Intelligence sources confirmed the cyber breach and hotel theft attempt of a laptop in the Mont Kiara district was thwarted but the incident was reported to The Hague which was co-ordinating the MH17 probe and which had also detected hack attempts to its computers specifically by spies from GRU's 'Unit 26165'.
It is understood this is the same GRU specialist cyber unit which has also repeatedly attempted to hack the Australian Government's defence and foreign affairs departments servers specifically in relation to the MH17 investigation which heavily involves the Australian Federal Police and intelligence agencies.
They also attempted to crack Dutch government computers related to the international police probe.
Sources said the suspected Russian spy aggression about MH17 was an attempt to thwart the probe which is later this year expected to name Russian military personnel allegedly involved in the deployment and use of the Buk missile system in east Ukraine by separatist rebels.
Three of those principal rebels have since been assassinated with Western intelligence suspecting Russian involvement.
"They are trying to clean things up and the three leaders of the day when MH17 was shot down had all been killed in PBIED (person borne improvised explosive device) in Donetsk which is unusual, an IED and a road accident," one source said.
"They are basically getting rid of everyone who was involved in that time because essentially they know where the bodies are buried so to speak."
One of those killed was Major General Alexander Zakharchenko who was the Moscow-backed military commander who in 2014 led the Donetsk east Ukrainian separatist rebels against the Ukraine Government and was instrumental in securing the Russian military and armaments support including sophisticated missile firing systems like the one used to down MH17.
Zakharchenko, who claimed to have himself seen two Ukraine air force fighters about MH17 the moment it was downed, was killed in a bomb planted in the roof of his regular cafe.
The Kremlin again yesterday denied all the spy allegations by Australia, Britain and the Netherlands as propaganda.