On Saturday the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) [official website] accused a recent cyber attack on Russia and the Kremlin. The SBU stated [BBC report] that the hackers behind the most recent attack are the same as those who conducted an attack [Reuters report] on the Ukrainian power grid in December 2016. Experts worldwide are still trying to decide who was behind the most recent attack which took out computers, disrupted shipping, and hit banks across the globe. Some experts are unsure if the Russians are the ones behind the attack, as Russian oil companies Gazprom and Rosneft [corporate websites] both reported that they were affected by the attack. There was a minor ransom demand for $300, but it has been concluded that financial enrichment was not the purpose behind the attack. The SBU stated [Reuters report] that “the main purpose of the virus was the destruction of important data, disrupting the work of public and private institutions in Ukraine and spreading panic among the people”. While purpose of the recent attack was directed against financial institutions, it quickly spread to other sectors.
Cyber warfare continues to be one of the most common kinds of attack being used by countries in the current day and age. Russia has been accused for many of the attacks, which has led to repercussions across the globe. In May Ukraine imposed sanctions [JURIST report] against a handful of Russian tech companies in retaliation for cyber attacks, raising the total number of firms sanctioned to over 400. Though many attacks are difficult to pinpoint who was the actual culprit, there are typically signs of where the attacks originated. In May cyber security researchers believe that the found indicators pointing to North Korea being behind an attack [JURIST report] in May that affected over 300,000 computers across the globe. The most published cyber attack in the recent past was the alleged Russian attempt to disrupt and influence the American election. In March the DOJ announced indictments [JURIST report] against four Russian individuals in connection with the hacking of email accounts.