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UK accuses Russia of carrying out NotPetya cyberattacks

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene)

The UK has publicly accused Russia of staging last summer's NotPetya cyber attack.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Russia was "ripping up the rule book" and the UK was duty-bound to respond.

Foreign Office minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon sadi the move was the UK's way of showing it will 'not tolerate malicious cyber activity'.

He said: "The UK government judges that the Russian government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber attack. Its reckless release disrupted organisations across Europe costing hundreds of millions of pounds. The Kremlin has positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West yet it doesn't have to be that way.

"We call upon Russia to be the responsible member of the international community it claims to be rather then secretly trying to undermine it."

Russia, on the other hand, denies the allegations, saying that its companies, too, were victims of the NonPetya ransowmare attack.

NotPetya was designed to spread damage rather than collect money, experts says. They have suggested the attack may have been disguised as ransomware to make it appear to be criminal led when it may have been state sponsored.

The malware initially spread through an accounting program used by organisations working with the Ukrainian government. It affected several parts of the country’s infrastructure including banks, airports and railways. It then spread globally through phishing emails, which are disguised as legitimate communications but ask for sensitive information like passwords.

Image source: Shutterstock/Nicescene

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.