The British Foreign Minister has pointed the blame at the Russian government, specifically their military for a global cyber attack that ripped thru European businesses a year ago, accusing the Russians of “weaponizing information” in the realm of cyber warfare.
Foreign Minister Tariq Ahmad said, “the U.K. government judges that the Russian government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyberattack of June 2017.”
The fast-spreading outbreak of data-scrambling software centered on Ukraine, which is embroiled in a conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in the country’s east. It spread to companies that do business with Ukraine, including U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck, Danish shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk and FedEx subsidiary TNT.
Ahmad said the “reckless” attack cost organizations hundreds of millions of dollars.
British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson accused Russia of “undermining democracy, wrecking livelihoods by targeting critical infrastructure and weaponizing information” with malicious cyber attacks.
“We must be primed and ready to tackle these stark and intensifying threats,” Williamson said.
Denmark’s defense minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, said that the hack was meant to specifically cause damage. “Russians have lifted this up to a higher level where the aim is to cause harm just like in a military attack,” he was quoted as saying by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, denied Russia’s involvement.
“We categorically deny the accusations. We consider them unfounded and baseless and see them as a continuation of a groundless Russophobic campaign,” he said in a conference call with reporters.
While the Russians continue to claim that they are blameless, it remains a fact that too many of these attacks come from within their own borders and they’ve done precious little to stop them. And their businesses have been scarcely affected.
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