UK blames Russian military for 'reckless' cyber attacks

Britain, Australia and New Zealand have accused Russian military intelligence of carrying out a worldwide ca...

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 12:59 PM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 12:59 PM

Britain, Australia and New Zealand have accused Russian military intelligence of carrying out a worldwide campaign of "malicious" cyber attacks, including the hacking of the US Democratic National Committee in 2016.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement Thursday that the country's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) had found that Russian GRU intelligence service operatives were behind cyber attacks believed to have cost the global economy millions of dollars.

Continents and regions

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Cyber attacks

Cyberterrorism

Digital crime

Digital security

Eastern Europe

Europe

International relations and national security

Military

Military operations

National security

Northern Europe

Russia

Technology

Terrorism

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

United Kingdom

Unrest, conflicts and war

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Politics

US Federal elections

Espionage

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Intelligence services

International law

Law and legal system

Australia

Oceania

Investigations

Russia meddling investigation

2016 Presidential election

Political candidates

US Presidential elections

2018 Russian spy poisoning

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Computer science and information technology

Diseases and disorders

Drugs and society

Drugs in sports

England

Health and medical

International relations

Malware

Misc organizations

Misc people

New Zealand

North America

Poisonings

Political organizations

Sergei Skripal

Society

Software and applications

Sports and recreation

The Americas

United States

US Democratic Party

US political parties

World Anti-Doping Agency

Australia and New Zealand released similar statements alleging that their own intelligence agencies had found evidence of Russian involvement in the same attacks on political, business, media and sporting institutions.

Britain, Australia and New Zealand are all members of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance, which also includes the US and Canada.

"The GRU's actions are reckless and indiscriminate: they try to undermine and interfere in elections in other countries; they are even prepared to damage Russian companies and Russian citizens," Hunt said in a statement.

"This pattern of behaviour demonstrates their desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences."

In statements Thursday, UK, Australia and NZ authorities attributed high-profile cyber attacks to GRU-backed hackers: Attacks on the servers of the Democratic National Committee in 2016 in the lead-up to the US presidential election; a 2017 ransomware attack that targeted Russian news agencies, operations at a metro in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and an airport in the city of Odessa; the release of confidential files of international athletes stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2016.

The Kremlin has not responded to the British and Australian allegations, but Russian leaders have consistently denied many of the hacks attributed to Moscow, including allegations that it meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Diplomatic tensions

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Britain have deteriorated since the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury earlier this year. UK authorities have accused the GRU of using a military grade nerve agent to attack Skripal, himself a former Russian agent.

Russian authorities have vehemently denied the Kremlin was involved in the attack.

When asked about the Salisbury case Wednesday at an energy forum in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Skripal a "traitor" and a "scumbag" and suggested the incident was being "artificially blown up" by the media.

British investigators have linked the attack on the Skripals to the June 30 poisoning of Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, a couple living in Amesbury, near Salisbury. Sturgess died on July 8 after applying a substance to her wrists from a perfume bottle found by Rowley. Russia also denied any involvement in the incident.

In relation to its latest claims against Russia, the British government identified the following names and aliases as associated with the GRU cyber attacks: APT 28, Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berkut, Voodoo Bear, BlackEnergy Actors, STRONTIUM, Tsar Team and Sandworm.

It is unusual for the NCSC publicly to name those it believes are responsible for state-sponsored cyber attacks. The decision suggests Britain and its allies are taking a new approach in order to point the finger at the GRU specifically.

The attacks attributed to the GRU targeted four sectors that impact people's day-to-day lives: democracy, transport, media and sport.

"While Australia was not significantly impacted, this activity affected the ability of the public in other parts of the world to go about their daily lives," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said in a joint statement Thursday.

"Cyberspace is not the Wild West. The International Community -- including Russia -- has agreed that international law and norms of responsible state behavior apply in cyberspace."

The head of New Zealand's Communications Security Bureau said the alleged cyber activities served "no legitimate national security interest."

"They were designed to negatively impact on the ability of people around the world to go about their daily lives free from interference," said Director-General Andrew Hampton.

The four alleged attacks

Bad Rabbit

The Bad Rabbit ransomware attack in 2017 spread through Russia and Ukraine around the world. Ransomware attacks involve threatening a user's files or computer access in exchange for a ransom.

In the case of Bad Rabbit, the hackers disguised the ransomware as an update to Adobe software before locking down computers and demanding money for people to get their files back.

Most victims were located in Russia, but several cybersecurity firms identified attacks linked to Bad Rabbit in Turkey, Germany, Bulgaria, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

WADA hack

The WADA attack involved the release of Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) for sports stars including American four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles as well as tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams.

At the time, WADA President Craig Reedie said that the hacking was clearly a retaliatory attack after 118 of Russia's athletes were banned from competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games following revelations of "state-sponsored" doping.

DNC attack

All three countries said they had determined Russia hacked the Democratic National Convention ahead of the 2016 presidential election. That hack led to the release of a batch of private emails and notes, including many that belonged to Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta.

In the months following the cyber attack, the US intelligence community concluded that Russia did in fact attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections, and top national security officials said in August that Russia is continuing to pursue similar efforts.

TV station attack

The statements accused Russia of stealing content and illicitly accessing email accounts from a small UK-based TV station in July and August 2015. The station was not named.

Terre Haute
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Robinson
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 43°
Indianapolis
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 44°
Rockville
Overcast
42° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 42°
Casey
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 47°
Marshall
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 47°
Cloudy & Cold
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Off the Beaten Path: A silent hero

Image

Thursday Morning Forecast

Image

ISU Women Illinois

Image

WRV North Knox

Image

Sullivan South Knox

Image

Kevin's Winter Weather Forecast

Image

Local business makes $1,000 donation to Catholic Charities

Image

Here's how you can help the feline rescue

Image

Local catering company is getting folks ready for turkey day

Image

Isolation among the elderly during the holiday season may affect your loved one’s mental health

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 685467

Reported Deaths: 12439
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2913126414
DuPage42881762
Will36762544
Lake35460619
Kane30350453
Winnebago18042253
Madison13560236
McHenry13529153
St. Clair12513255
Champaign1042954
Sangamon955493
Peoria8529129
Rock Island8278126
Kankakee8190103
McLean802052
Tazewell633595
Macon6191128
Kendall594742
LaSalle5808130
DeKalb476446
Adams457148
Boone372133
Vermilion364446
Whiteside3595104
Williamson340779
Coles320758
Clinton310959
Ogle269929
Knox264558
Grundy259718
Effingham259520
Jackson256436
Henry250213
Stephenson235034
Marion234946
Livingston213523
Randolph213125
Morgan209534
Macoupin205617
Bureau201440
Monroe195744
Franklin193622
Christian180740
Lee180126
Jefferson175459
Woodford163826
Iroquois156825
Logan154813
McDonough154140
Fayette152528
Fulton135610
Shelby130025
Douglas128916
Jersey118723
Union112826
Montgomery107919
Crawford107710
Saline106724
Jo Daviess103817
Warren102820
Perry101423
Carroll101324
Bond98010
Pike97225
Lawrence95710
Cass93021
Hancock92312
Moultrie86010
Wayne85333
Greene78727
Clay78519
Clark75819
Edgar75016
Piatt7455
Ford71921
Richland68619
Mercer68410
Johnson6825
Mason67218
Washington6332
Jasper61812
Cumberland59416
De Witt59216
White5758
Massac5283
Wabash5038
Menard4281
Unassigned3940
Pulaski3922
Marshall3755
Hamilton3723
Brown3033
Henderson2650
Schuyler2571
Alexander2482
Putnam2360
Stark2313
Calhoun2280
Scott2230
Edwards2193
Gallatin1813
Hardin1360
Pope891
Out of IL130

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 312521

Reported Deaths: 5498
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion42641849
Lake27152455
Allen18010298
Elkhart17177221
St. Joseph16799229
Hamilton13011167
Vanderburgh9751120
Tippecanoe858727
Porter827986
Johnson6389165
Hendricks6098157
Vigo608384
Monroe536750
Clark515077
Madison5060122
Delaware4905103
LaPorte465595
Kosciusko462339
Howard344277
Warrick325672
Bartholomew316863
Floyd316277
Wayne307770
Cass299931
Marshall299144
Grant272550
Noble255046
Hancock253852
Henry247537
Boone244554
Dubois237931
Dearborn219030
Jackson215534
Morgan210843
Knox187819
Gibson186925
Shelby182155
Clinton180321
DeKalb177831
Lawrence177648
Adams168222
Miami162614
Wabash162521
Daviess156443
Fayette149234
Steuben147113
Jasper144412
Harrison142924
LaGrange142630
Montgomery142127
Whitley137114
Ripley132115
Huntington127410
Decatur126143
Putnam124627
Randolph124519
Wells124429
White123222
Clay122523
Posey122116
Jefferson118816
Scott109020
Greene102653
Jay99013
Sullivan96416
Starke92021
Jennings85314
Fulton84518
Spencer8378
Perry82521
Fountain7798
Washington7527
Franklin69927
Carroll68613
Orange67328
Vermillion6243
Owen6087
Tipton57627
Parke5706
Newton56312
Rush5438
Blackford53412
Pike50919
Pulaski39515
Martin3585
Brown3424
Benton3402
Crawford2941
Union2702
Switzerland2575
Warren2382
Ohio2317
Unassigned0266