Earlier this morning, Russia said it had uncovered plans by foreign spies to carry out massive cyber attacks targeting the country's banking system. The country's intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), said the attack was planned to start on December 5, targeting major national and provincial banks in several Russian cities in a wave of cyber attacks.
FSB said the planned attacks were aimed at "destabilizing Russia's financial system including the activities of a number of major banks." The agency further added that the servers to be used in the alleged cyber attack were located in Netherlands, registered to a Ukrainian web hosting company.
Russia on high alert for foreign-inspired cyber attacks since US accusations
Russian intelligence agency on Friday said in a briefing that foreign intelligence agencies were trying to create chaos in Russian financial market with a coordinated wave of cyber attacks. The agency noted that the attack would have used fake social media reports about several banks going bust, Reuters reported.
"It was planned that the cyber attack would be accompanied by a mass send-out of SMS messages and publications in social media of a provocative nature regarding a crisis in the Russian banking system, bankruptcies and license withdrawals," FSB said.
The security service alleged that these plans were made by "foreign secret services to carry out large-scale cyberattacks," however, didn't blame any specific agency, except for naming the Ukrainian web hosting company. Anton Onopriychuk, director of the company, told AFP it provides "services for protection against cyberattacks, not for attacks." "As yet no one has contacted us about this, neither the FSB or clients," Onopriychuk added.
Today's statement from Moscow comes after the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany blamed Russia for targeting the countries with cyber attacks. Washington officially accused Russia of targeting its officials during the Presidential election campaign. Following this, the UK spy agency MI5 warned the country of an "aggressive Russia" in the cyber space. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said earlier this week that cyberattacks from Russia were now a "part of daily life."
At least the United States government openly threatened to retaliate against Russia trying to influence its democratic election process. Reports later claimed that Washington had penetrated key Russian systems, and the agencies will be prepared to take action if Kremlin tries to interfere with the election process.
Russia has since been on a high alert for cyber attacks launched by foreign spy agencies. FSB is confident it is "carrying out the necessary measures to neutralize threats to Russia's economic and information security."