Skip to Content

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.

Deep Dive


Everything dies, including information

Digitization can help stem the tide of entropy, but it won’t stop it.

What’s next in cybersecurity

“When it comes to really cutting off ransomware from the source, I think we took a step back.”

Moving money in a digital world

Security is the critical element to expanding digital-first payments.

Cyber resilience melds data security and protection

Organizations face pervasive and sophisticated cyberattacks, but modern data protection techniques can provide a multifaceted defense.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.