A top Russian cybersecurity official claimed on Thursday that Russia has been subjected to a massive campaign of cyberespionage, including attacks on government and financial institutions, and said most of the attacks are emanating from the United States.
“First and foremost the attackers focus on Russia’s technologies in the defense and nuclear industries, energy and missile building, as well as information from public administration systems,” said Nikolai Murashov, deputy director of the National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents.
Russia’s Tass news service quoted Murashov’s breakdown of the cyberattacks and his claim the United States is the “main source of threat”:
On average, one in three attacks the center reveals targets banking and financial organizations (38%), 35% of attacks are against state bodies, 7% are against educational and defense industry facilities, 4% are against space and rocket industry and 3% are against healthcare.
Murashov pointed out that the United States remains the main source of threat, as confirmed by data from the following companies: Webster (the US), Ruixing (China), Comodo Security Solutions (the US) and NTT Security (Japan). He said cyberattacks are carried out by means of various methods of spreading malware, for instance, through e-mails and phishing and captured resources in the Internet.
According to statistics shown in a slide at the briefing, in 2018, 63% to 71% of attacks through web-resources were made from the US territory, 5%-10% from China and a tiny 3% from Russia. Phishing attacks came from the United States in 36% of cases, 25% of the attacks were from Cyprus and 5% from Russia. The United States is number one in terms of all types of attacks (27%), China comes in second (10%), the Netherlands and France – third (4% each) and Germany – fourth (3%).
The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday said it has “revealed and neutralized over 25,000 attempted intrusions into the information resources of the Armed Forces” since 2013. The ministry said the number of cyberattacks on the Russian military is growing by an average of 12 percent per year.
The New York Times ran a story two weeks ago that claimed the U.S. government is stepping up cyber operations against Russia’s power grid, planting what amounts to malware time bombs deep inside the Russian systems as both a warning to Moscow and insurance against the possibility of a hot cyber-war between America and Russia in the future.
President Donald Trump vigorously disputed this story, denouncing it as “NOT TRUE!” and a “virtual act of treason” by the New York Times.The European Union is preparing a series of war games to prepare for cyberattacks from Russia and China, based on Russian operations against Finland when it participated in NATO exercises last October.
The Kremlin was also caught launching cyberattacks in April 2018 against the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the U.K. Foreign Office, and a British chemical weapons facility to cover for the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal by Russian agents in the United Kingdom.