CIA: Russia behind cyberattacks against Ukrainian infrastructure in 2017

The Russian government was responsible for cyber attacks that targeted computers controlling Ukrainian systems and infrastructure in June 2017, the CIA has said.

The attack took the form of a mock ransomware virus dubbed NotPetya. It wiped out data from the computers of banks, energy firms, senior government officials and an airport.

Russia’s military spy agency, the GRU, created NotPetya, the CIA concluded with “high confidence” in November, according to classified reports cited by U.S. intelligence officials.

This is not the first cyberattack by Russia against Ukrainian infrastructure. Russian hackers targeted a Ukrainian power plant in the dead of winter in 2015, which cut power to about 230,000 people from one to six hours.

The NotPetya assault was launched on Ukraine’s Constitution Day, a public holiday.

“It’s a pattern of more bold, aggressive action,” said Robert Hannigan, former head of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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