The United Kingdom and the United States are banding together to blame Russia for June’s ransomware attack that cost Europe, Asia, and the United States billions of dollars in damage. Ransomware is used to threaten to delete files unless or ransom is paid. It’s the fastest-growing computer virus out there.
The United Kingdom’s government took a leap by accusing Russia of being behind the malicious attack. They say they did this to reiterate that cyber activity attacks would not be tolerated. According to the BBC, Moscow says they weren’t behind the attack and called the claims of this “Russophobic.” Moscow also says that they couldn’t have anything to do with it because they were also among those affected.
CNN says the attack is called NotPetya, which impacted companies such as WPP, Mondelez, Merck, and FedEx. It infected computers and locked down hard drives, then demanding $300 to be paid in Bitcoin. However, if the victims did pay the $300, they didn’t ever regain access to their files.
Britain’s National Cybersecurity Center says the attack was well-planned, well-researched, and had a high level of technical capability. They say the ransomware was installed into a piece of software that is used by most of Ukraine’s financial and government institutions. Millions of dollars were lost just as a result of this cyber attack. Back in September, FedEx lost $300 million to the attack. Unfortunately, FedEx’s subsidiary, TNT Express, was forced to suspend their business. Mondelez says their shipment was delayed and caused their second-quarter revenue to drop 2.7%.
Typically, 68% of funds lost due to cyber attacks are declared unrecoverable.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement regarding the attack.
“It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict,” Sanders said. “This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack that will be met with international consequences.”
Crews are working on new ways to prevent this from happening again in the future.