LONDON – The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office Minister said Thursday the Kremlin was behind a 2017 cyberattack against Ukraine that affected other parts of Europe.
Lord Tariq Ahmad said the UK government believed the Russian military was behind the NotPetya cyberattack that targeted Ukraine’s financial, energy and government sectors in June last year.
“The attack showed a continued disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty,” said Ahmad. “Its reckless release disrupted organizations across Europe costing hundreds of millions of pounds.”
The minister added that the UK was “identifying, pursuing and responding to malicious cyber activity regardless of where it originates, imposing costs on those who would seek to do us harm.”
Ahmad considered that the Russian government had “positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West,” but that “it didn’t have to be that way,” called on the country to be “the responsible member of the international community it claims to be rather than secretly trying to undermine it.”
The minister stressed the UK government’s commitment to strengthening and coordinating the international community’s effort to “uphold a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace.”
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has also said Russia’s military was behind the cyber-attack.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Secretary of State for Defense Gavin Williamson has said that Russia was undermining democracy.