UK points finger at Russia for ‘malicious’ cyberattack that paralyzed global firms

UK points finger at Russia for ‘malicious’ cyberattack that paralyzed global firms
The British government says Russia was behind the massive ‘NotPetya’ cyberattack that crippled computer networks of global multinationals last summer. Moscow has denied the accusation.

“We categorically reject such accusations, we consider them unsubstantiated and groundless. This is nothing more than the continuation of the Russophobic campaign lacking any evidence,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Thursday.

With no specific evidence provided for the allegations, UK intelligence claimed that the Russian military was responsible for the attack, citing a statement by Britain’s Foreign Office. According to the document, the UK decided to publicly charge Russia to show neither London nor its allies “will not tolerate malicious cyber activity.”

“The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre assesses that the Russian military was almost certainly responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack of June 2017. Given this is the highest level of assessment and the broader context, the UK government has made the judgement that the Russian government was responsible for this cyber-attack,” the statement says.

The NotPetya cyberattack devastated computer networks of major global corporations worldwide. Companies like the delivery service FedEx, container-ship giant Moeller-Maersk, pharmaceutical firm Merck, French construction firm Saint-Gobain, British advertising company WPP Group, and many others fell victims of the virus. Security experts said the worm appeared to stem from Ukrainian tax software.

The accusations by the UK Foreign Office represent the first time a Western government has publicly pointed the finger at Moscow. Earlier, only Ukraine accused the Kremlin. They also claimed that Ukraine bore the brunt of the attack.

British officials said the attack was aimed at Ukrainian financial, energy, and government sectors.

“The attack masqueraded as a criminal enterprise but its purpose was principally to disrupt. Primary targets were Ukrainian financial, energy and government sectors. Its indiscriminate design caused it to spread further, affecting other European and Russian business,” the UK Foreign Office claims.

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