Russia seeks revenge for cyber-aggression

Russia seeks revenge for cyber-aggression

Russia warns governments not to carry out cyberattacks against the country. According to the Russian foreign ministry, “anonymous hackers and provocateurs who support the regime in Kiev” are waging a cyberwar of unprecedented proportions. The Kremlin pledges to take firm action against this cyber aggression.

This is stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press statement, the Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Cyber ​​attacks against Ukraine

It has been five weeks since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine. The war is raging not only on the ground but also online. The first cyberattack took place just before the Russian invasion. Hackers then shut down the websites of various Ukrainian government services. “Be afraid and expect the worst,” the message read.

A DDoS attack took place a few days after the war broke out. Two Ukrainian banks and the Ministry of Defense were then targeted. Security experts suspect that Russian state hackers are responsible for both attacks. The Kremlin vehemently denies having anything to do with this.

‘Serious consequences for the instigators and perpetrators’

Russia itself has also been targeted by hackers on more than one occasion. Hackers group Anonymous has attacked the country several times in recent weeks. Members took the websites of the Kremlin, the Ministry of Defense, and the State Duma offline, among other things. The group also claimed responsibility for the cyberattack on the Russian Central Bank.

The cyberattacks have not gone unnoticed by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a press statement, the department writes that “an army of cyber mercenaries” is waging war against Russia. That is completely unacceptable.

“There can be no doubt that the cyber-aggression unleashed against Russia will have serious consequences for the instigators and the perpetrators. The source of the attacks will be traced. The attackers will inevitably bear responsibility for their actions, in accordance with the requirements of the law,” the ministry said in a statement.

‘Anonymous hackers and provocateurs’ are behind cyber attacks

The department alludes to harsh retaliation against the hackers, who say they are guilty of terrorism. According to the ministry, the cyberattacks are carried out by “anonymous hackers and provocateurs” trained by the US and other NATO countries. They are following orders to carry out coordinated attacks of “unprecedented magnitude” against Russia. “Western coordinators who support the regime in Kiev” are behind the attacks, according to the Kremlin.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ends the press release by stating that strengthening the ICT infrastructure is one of the main priorities for Russia to guarantee national security.

Gevers: ‘Be aware of Russian retaliation’

Cyber ​​security expert Ricky Gevers tells BNR that it is the first time that Russia has announced harsh actions against foreign hackers. “The Americans have been dealing with Russian state hackers for some time. For example, by naming them by first and last name. Now Russia does that too, but I think you should see this as a kind of warning.”

Gevers thinks we should be very concerned about Russian retaliation. He mentions the ransomware attack with NotPetya in 2017 as an example. The malware completely shut down the port of Rotterdam. As a result, the supply and export of goods with the European mainland came to a complete standstill. NotPetya caused damage amounting to 300 to 450 million euros, partly because more than 30,000 computers had to be replaced.

“More such attacks have been carried out by Russia,” Gevers says. “Very little was deployed during this war. So we know from Russia that they are holding back. They are undoubtedly all over the world that we don’t know they are. Think, for example, of energy parties or ministries in the Netherlands. They can use the access they have there for retribution. Russia has also warned countries. The Netherlands has promised Ukraine that they will help the country digitally. There could be retaliation for that.”

NCSC: ‘No indications of Russian cyber attacks’

The National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) recently said that there are currently no indications of advanced cyber attacks that could have consequences for the Dutch infrastructure. “The situation may be different tomorrow; we do not rule out attacks and their possible consequences on the Netherlands,” according to the cyber service. She advises Dutch companies to do everything they can to increase their cyber resilience.

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