UK finds Russian military intelligence behind cyber attacks

UK finds Russian military intelligence behind cyber attacks
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The United Kingdom on Wednesday blamed the Russian military intelligence group, GRU, for a series of "reckless" cyberattacks in recent years.

The British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said with “high confidence” that it believes GRU was “almost certainly responsible” for a number of high profile cyberattacks in recent years.

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They cited the 2017 BadRabbit ransomware attack in Europe, the 2016 Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack and a summer 2015 hack of emails from a U.K.-based TV station as examples of GRU attacks carried out under alternate names.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned the attacks, which he said "serve no legitimate national security interest."

“The GRU’s actions are reckless and indiscriminate: they try to undermine and interfere in elections in other countries; they are even prepared to damage Russian companies and Russian citizens," Hunt said in a statement.

"This pattern of behaviour demonstrates their desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences," he added.

The National Cyber Security Centre said that the GRU attacks affected millions of people across several countries, and have cost national economies millions.

Hunt said the U.K. and its allies would respond to GRU's actions, though he did not specify what that could entail.

GRU has garnered the attention of officials in the U.S. and abroad in recent years for its aggressive tactics and cyber operations.

The U.K. previously announced charges against two GRU officers in the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal on British soil. 

Russian officials have denied involvement in the attack, and disputed the identity of the two men charged.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, has sanctioned several GRU officers for launching cyberattacks and has expelled dozens of suspected Russian intelligence officers operating in the U.S. in response to the Skripal poisoning.