US accuses Russia of launching ‘destructive’ cyber-attack

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Washington, Feb 16 (IANS) The US government has accused the Russian military of launching the “most destructive and costly cyber attack in history”, but did not provide any evidence.

The claim on Thursday, hours after the British Foreign Office made a similar accusation, saying that the Russian government was behind the NotPetya cyber attack of June 2017, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Kremlin responded by “categorically” rejecting Britain’s accusations.

“We consider them to be unsubstantiated and groundless,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

“This is nothing more than a continuation of the Russophobic campaign, based on no evidence,” Peskov said.

According to a statement issued by the US Press Secretary, the global attack caused billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

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“It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilise Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict,” it said.

The attack of a malware dubbed NotPetya disrupted numerous computer systems. It erupted first in Ukraine, but the virus later spread to many other countries, including Russia. The statement said that the “reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack” will be met with international consequences.

In January, American intelligence officials referenced a classified report from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), alleging Russia’s military spy agency GRU created NotPetya, according to a Washington Post article. The CIA had declined to comment.

The only link known to the public was that the attack happened as Ukraine was about to celebrate its Constitution Day.

–IANS

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