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Five Eyes Nations United in Blaming Russia for NotPetya

The US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have all joined the UK in blaming Russia for the devastating NotPetya ransomware attack last year.

The nations are united by an intelligence-sharing arrangement known as the Five Eyes Alliance, so it’s perhaps not surprising that they’ve come to the same conclusions regarding attribution of the attack.

However, statements from the White House, Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE), the Australian minister for law enforcement and security and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau will pile further international pressure on the Putin administration.

The statements all blame the Russian military for the attacks of June 2017, when a mission to cause mass disruption to Ukrainian businesses and government agencies got out of hand and spread via multi-nationals around the globe.

The White House labelled NotPetya “the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history,” while CES chief Greta Bossenmaier, argued that Canada “continues to strongly oppose the use of cyberspace for reckless and destructive criminal activities.”

A statement from Foreign Office cybersecurity minister, Tariq Ahmad, last Thursday pegged the cost of the attack at hundreds of millions of pounds.

However, the figure could be even higher. The likes of shipper Maersk, FedEx subsidiary TNT and pharma giant Merck are all said to have lost in the region of $300m thanks to service outages caused by the ransomware worm.

The news comes as a US grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies for a widespread and sophisticated alleged plot to disrupt the 2016 US presidential election and tip it in favor of eventual winner Donald Trump.

All of these efforts are claimed to be part of a wider Putin administration campaign to undermine democratic nations by sowing discord through information warfare: the new front line for covert geopolitical conflict.

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