US, UK, Australia Warn Russia of “International Consequences” – NotPetya Outbreak Attributed to the Kremlin

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"It was totally avoidable."

Joining United States and the United Kingdom, the Australian government too has now attributed NotPetya ransomware/wipeware outbreak to Russia. Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, Angus Taylor, said in a statement on Friday that the country has "judged" that Russia was responsible for the ransomware campaign based on advice from Australian intelligence agencies and through consultation with the UK and the US governments.

"Based on advice from Australian intelligence agencies, and through consultation with the United States and United Kingdom, the Australian Government has judged that Russian state sponsored actors were responsible for the incident."

The statement went on to say that the "Australian Government condemns Russia’s behaviour, which posed grave risks to the global economy, to government operations and services, to business activity and the safety and welfare of individuals."

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Similar statement from UK: Russian military behind NotPetya attacks

Today's statement from Australia comes after a similarly worded statement was released by the UK government last night. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said that the Russian military was "almost certainly responsible" for the NotPetya attack.

The UK gov's statement had also warned that the country and its allies will no longer tolerate malicious cyber activity:

"The decision to publicly attribute this incident underlines the fact that the UK and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyber activity.

"The UK Government judges that the Russian Government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack of June 2017."

The UK government also said that the "Kremlin has positioned Russia in direct opposition to the West yet it doesn’t have to be that way."

"We call upon Russia to be the responsible member of the international community it claims to be rather than secretly trying to undermine it."

US government: cyberattacks from Russia will be met with "international consequences"

Before the UK and Australian statements, the Trump administration and the Danish governments had also released their own statements. Acknowledging the attack and attributing it to the Russian military, the White House statement reads:

"In June 2017, the Russian military launched the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history quickly spread worldwide, causing billions of dollars in damage across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

It was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine, and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict.

This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyberattack that will be met with international consequences."

These latest direct-attribution statements from US, UK, and now Australia follow a similar strategy that was employed when the Five Eyes had blamed North Korea for the WannaCry ransomware cyberattack. Both North Korea and the Kremlin have continued to deny these allegations.

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