A new era of warfare

Britain and the United States have publicly blamed the Russian military for a devastating cyber attack last year, with Washington warning of “international consequences.” The primary targets of the June 2017 attack were “Ukrainian financial, energy and government sectors,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement issued in English, Russian and Ukrainian.
“The attack showed a continued disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty,” it continued. “The Russian military was almost certainly responsible.”
The “NotPetya” malware, which resembled the Petya family of computer viruses, quickly spread across the world, paralysing computers and demanding a payment in the digital currency bitcoin to remove the obstruction.
Pharmaceuticals giant Merck, Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk and logistics firm TNT were among those affected.
“The attack masqueraded as a criminal enterprise, but its purpose was principally to disrupt,” the British statement said. “Its reckless release disrupted organisations across Europe, costing hundreds of millions of pounds.”
In a statement released late on Thursday, the White House also blamed the Russian military for what it said was the “most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history.”
“It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilise Ukraine and demonstrate ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict,” it continued.
“This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack that will be met with international consequences.”
Britain said the Kremlin had “positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West, yet it doesn’t have to be that way.
“We call upon Russia to be the responsible member of the international community it claims to be, rather than secretly trying to undermine it.”
The Russian government rejected the accusations once again, with the news agency Tass quoting Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov calling them “groundless” and part of a “campaign based on hatred against Russia.” US officials have also accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, an allegation that Moscow has adamantly denied.
— dpa