BUNGLING Russian agents caught trying to sabotage the Salisbury poison probe exposed 300 of their comrades with yet another glaring error, it was revealed yesterday.
The blundering spies – dubbed the Novichokle Brothers – had passports in their own names which revealed one of them owned a Lada car.
Checks quickly established Alexey Morenets’ motor was registered to the address of the GRU’s foreign intelligence agency’s cyber warfare department in Moscow.
And searches of other vehicles registered at the same address yesterday identified 305 other members of the shadowy “26165 unit” accused of hacking targets all over world.
The names, addresses, dates of birth and mobile phone numbers of spies are also freely available and have already been hoovered up by delighted MI6 rivals.
Work by online sleuths from the Bellingcat agency also revealed two of the four “Dumb Bonds” were registered as residents at the GRU’s Military Academy in Moscow.
Sources said yesterday that the huge blunders had effectively dismantled the elite cyber unit responsible for a string of hack attacks across the globe.
MI6 and their Dutch colleagues revealed how the four – Morenets, Evgenii Serebriakov, Oleg Sotnikov and Alexey Minin — made a string of blunders.
Western agents caught them red-handed using a wi-fi antenna in an effort to hack a Dutch laboratory probing the March nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, 67 and his daughter Yulia, 34.
They failed to wipe laptops and phones which showed they were Russian spies and linked them to previous hacks in Malaysia, Ukraine, Switzerland and the Brazil Olympics.
A taxi receipt from their GRU HQ in Moscow to a city airport was also unearthed with a huge stash of euros and US dollars.
Hours later, America accused a string of Kremlin agents of trying to hack into anti-doping bodies and a nuclear power station.
Bellingcat said yesterday that the Lada was registered to Moscow address Komsomolsky Prospekt 20, where the 26165 unit was based.
Searches for other vehicles registered at the same address produced a treasure trove list of 305 suspected Russian spies aged 27 to 53.
Security has been ramped up at UK banks and power stations amid fears of a “catastrophic” Russian cyber attack, it was revealed yesterday.
Kremlin spymasters stung by this week’s damning expose are feared to be thirsting for revenge.
And security services were last night gearing up to repel a reckless attack designed to trigger devastating economic damage or electricity blackouts.
Extra security and CCTV monitoring is understood to have been stepped up at key sites to thwart “close access” and “spear phishing” attacks like the one foiled in Holland.
Russian agents given free reign to wreak havoc by Vladimir Putin’s regime are ready to hack into sensitive systems by getting close to wi-fi sources at power stations and bank HQs.
A defence source said: “Politicians have touched upon the threat to UK insfrastucture and they are right to do so.
“The Russians may have suffered a setback but they clearly do not care about being found out – as evidenced by their reckless attacks.
“They are at the most dangerous when they are wounded.”
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Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned Moscow that Britain and its allies will not take the naked aggression ‘lying down’.
He said: “If they think we are just going to lie down and accept that they are wrong. There will be consequences and they will regret doing this.”
Mr Hunt’s deputy, Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, warned that a British power station or a major bank could be next on Russia’s hit list.
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