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Thursday, 04 October 2018 11:02

Australia, UK blame Russia for cyber attacks Featured

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Australia, UK blame Russia for cyber attacks Pixabay

Australia and the United Kingdom have blamed the Russian Government's intelligence arm, the GRU, for a number of cyber attacks between 2015 and 2017.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Thursday that while Australia did not suffer any significant impact from these attacks, they "caused significant, indiscriminate harm to civilian infrastructure and resulted in millions of dollars in economic damage, including in Russia".

In a similar statement, the British National Cyber Security Centre said it had identified a number of attacks as being by the GRU.

"These attacks have been conducted in flagrant violation of international law, have affected citizens in a large number of countries, including Russia, and have cost national economies millions of pounds," the NCSC said.

It said attacks described by various security firms as being carried out by APT 28, Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Pawnstorm, Sednit, CyberCaliphate, Cyber Berkut, Voodoo Bear, BlackEnergy Actors, STRONTIUM, Tsar Team and Sandworm were all attributable to the GRU.

Morrison claimed four specific attacks had been carried out by the GRU:

  • "In October 2017, BadRabbit ransomware infected victims in Ukraine and Russia interrupting businesses and critical national infrastructure, including energy and transport sectors;
  • "In August 2016, the Russian military released confidential medical files relating to a number of international athletes. The World Anti-Doping Agency has stated publicly that this data came from a hack of its Anti-Doping Administration and management system;
  • In 2016, the US Democratic National Committee was hacked by the Russian Military and documents were subsequently published online; and
  • "Between July and August 2015, multiple email accounts belonging to a small UK-based TV station were accessed by the Russian military and content stolen."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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