Called Out

Britain Publicly Blames Russia for Massive Cyberattack

The British government has named and shamed Russia as the culprit in a massive ransomware attack last year that targeted Ukraine and then spread across Europe, costing companies more than $1.2 billion in damages. Known as the NotPetya attack—which caused chaos in June 2017—it initially hit Ukraine’s financial, energy, and government sectors before affecting companies such as British health-goods producer Reckitt Benckiser and Dutch delivery company TNT. In an unusually blunt and public accusation, a U.K. government minister accused Russia of “ripping up the rulebook by undermining democracy, wrecking livelihoods by targeting critical infrastructure, and weaponizing information.” In a further statement, the U.K. government said the decision to publicly accuse Russia “underlines the fact that the U.K. and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyberactivity.” Russia has denied responsibility for the attack.