Foreign Office Minister condemns Russian Federation for NotPetya attacks

Galtero Lara
Febrero 15, 2018

Lord Ahmad's statement was also accompanied by a note from the UK's National Cyber Security Centre which said it "assesses that the Russian military was nearly certainly responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack".

The British government says Russian Federation was behind a huge cyber attack last summer that impacted most of Europe and is estimated to have cost companies more than $1.2 billion.

Last November, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister accused the government of Russian Federation in meddling with the country's elections as well as planting fake news stories in local media.

The computer virus, which experts concluded masqueraded as ransomware but was in fact created to destroy data, spread rapidly to machines throughout the world last June.

"The attack masqueraded as a criminal enterprise, but its goal was principally to disrupt", the British Foreign Office said. The Ministry stressed that the national computer security Center in the United Kingdom, advising the authorities on the issue of cyberthreats, says that "the Russian military nearly certainly responsible" for the cyber attack.

"Primary targets were Ukrainian financial, energy and government sectors", Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad said in the statement.

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Companies with apparent strong links with Ukraine suffered badly from the NotPetya attack.

"The attack was evidence of disregard for the sovereignty of Ukraine".

The UK's Ahmad said the Kremlin has positioned Russian Federation in direct opposition to the West.

Ukraine has been in conflict with Russian-backed separatists since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014. "Its indiscriminate design caused it to spread further, affecting other European and Russian business", the UK Foreign Office claims.

Lord Ahmad directly called on Russian Federation in his statement "to be the responsible member of the global community it claims to be rather than trying to secretly undermine it". Soon 12,500 devices in 65 countries had been infected by the strain, called either ExPetr or NotPetya. Shipping firm Maesrk, which lost $300m as a result of the attack, admitted last week that it was forced to reinstall more than 45,000 PCs, 4,000 servers and 2,500 applications after being struck by the "malicious" ransomware. This meant that there was no means for victims to recover data once it had been encrypted. What made NotPetya so lethal is that it's also a worm that spreads laterally through an organization from the initial infection of one machine, helped by the ability to steal credentials.

NotPetya used the EternalBlue and EternalRomance exploits, which the Shadowbrokers group released in early 2017.

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