Russia accuses US of leading massive cyber campaign

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday accused the U.S. of attacking the country’s critical infrastructure and network systems in a massive cyberattack, claims the U.S. government has called false and part of Russia’s disinformation campaign.

In a statement posted on its website, the Russian ministry said the U.S. has targeted “state institutions, the media, critical infrastructure facilities, and life support systems” with allegedly thousands of attacks per day.

“An army of cyber mercenaries is waging war against us, facing specific combat missions, often bordering on open terrorism,” the ministry alleged. “No one should have any doubts: the cyber aggression unleashed against Russia will lead to grave consequences for its instigators and perpetrators.”

Emily Horne, a spokesperson for the National Security Agency, told The Hill the claim was false.

“The United States Government has not engaged in the activity described by Russia. Moscow’s statements to the contrary amount to disinformation,” said Horne.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now in its second month, has raised tensions and fears of increased cyberwarfare between the U.S. and Russia.

The White House warned last week that Russia would launch cyberattacks against the U.S., but a large hacking campaign has not yet been detected or shut down any critical system.

Ahead of the invasion in February, CISA alerted American companies and organizations to prepare them for potential cyberattacks.

In Russia’s statement on Tuesday, officials said the nation’s “specialized structures are effectively resisting these attacks, giving them a powerful rebuff.”

It blamed them on “anonymous hackers and provocateurs” who are spreading disinformation and hacking into Russia’s virtual networks with support of the U.S. and Western allies.

Russia has increasingly spread false information designed to support its narrative for invading Ukraine, which the country calls a “special military operation.”

This story was updated at 12:16 p.m.

Tags Cyberattacks Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Foreign Ministry Russia-Ukraine

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