Foreign Office: 'Russia was behind Ukraine cyber-attack'

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The British foreign Ministry believe that the main goal of the attack was "disorganization", and emphasize that the attack was aimed at the financial, energy and government sector of Ukraine.

Tensions over Russia's cyber warfare activities have ratcheted up after the British government officially accused Russian Federation of being behind last year's NotPetya ransomware outbreak.

Britain accused Russian Federation of last year's cybercrime, claiming publicly that Moscow has spread a virus that has caused problems for companies across Europe.

The UK has publicly accused Russian Federation of staging last summer's 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. However, the real goal of the attack was to disturb life in European countries, he says.

The attack a year ago targeted Ukraine and spread across Europe. "We are committed to strengthening coordinated global efforts to uphold a free, open, peaceful and secure cyber space", he said.

In a report released in January 2017, US intelligence agencies concluded that Russian Federation - on President Vladimir Putin's orders - engaged in a hacking-and-propaganda effort aimed at influencing the USA presidential election in 2016.

Greta Bossenmaier, chief of the Communications Security Establishment - responsible for protecting this country's government networks - issued a statement this morning that "CSE also assesses that actors in Russian were responsible for developing NotPetya".

In a prepared statement the ministry said the decision to attribute the incident publicly underlines the fact the United Kingdom and allies are not going to tolerate any malicious cyber activity.

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, which investigated the attack, said it demonstrated a "high level of planning, research and technical capability".

Ransomware affects Microsoft Windows systems in the main.

NotPetya was identified as the most destructive ransomware of 2017, followed closely by WannaCry, based on data collected from the Webroot BrightCloud threat intelligence platform. "Therefore, it is more accurate to describe this attack as destructive [rather] than as ransomware", the NCSC said.

"The malware was not created to be decrypted".

Other hard-hit victims were pharmaceuticals manufacturer Merck, which was quoted as telling financial analysts expected recovery costs would hit US$175 million, plus another $135 million in lost sales, and FedEx.

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