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The US and UK say Russia was behind the huge NotPetya ransomware attack

February 15, 2018

In a rare example of directly attributing blame, the British government says Russia orchestrated the massive cyberattack in 2017.

Back story: Last summer a new breed of ransomware, dubbed NotPetya and based on a Windows flaw leaked from the NSA, held computers around the world hostage. It hit Ukraine particularly hard, but it was felt globally—from India’s largest container port to US hospitals.

Blaming Russia: According to the Guardian, the UK’s foreign office minister for cybersecurity, Lord Ahmad, says that “the Russian government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyberattack.”  

Bracing for more: Meanwhile, UK defense secretary Gavin Williamson says, “We have entered a new era of warfare, witnessing a destructive and deadly mix of conventional military might and malicious cyberattacks ... We must be primed and ready to tackle these stark and intensifying threats.”

Update, 16 February: The White House has now confirmed that it, too, blames Russia for the NotPetya attacks.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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