UK accuses Russia of cyber campaign to undermine democracy
Britain has accused Russia of waging a years-long “campaign of malicious cyber activity” against politicians, civil servants and journalists aimed at undermining British democracy. The publication told in more detail CNBC.
The UK's National Cyber Security Center (part of GCHQ, the country's intelligence service) said in a report that Russian spies carried out a cyber campaign against senior British individuals and organizations from at least 2015 to this year, targeting several key political events in the UK.
The hacking group responsible was named Star Blizzard, which GCHQ said is "almost certainly" part of the Moscow spy agency Federal Security Service (FSB).
Allegations of malicious activity include attacks on British politicians, including through phishing emails, as well as attacks on universities, journalists, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, “many of which play a key role in British democracy,” the report said.
The NCSC said the spy ring leaked trade documents between the UK and the US ahead of the 2019 UK general election, and also hacked documents from UK think tanks whose work included defending democracy against disinformation.
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron called attempts to interfere in British politics "completely unacceptable."
The NCSC said the findings were part of a "broader pattern of cyber activity" carried out by Russian intelligence around the world.
In response, the UK and its international allies, including the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, released a new cybersecurity advisory on December 7 that aims to share technical details about how hackers carry out attacks and how you can defend against them.
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In addition, new guidance has been published for individuals at increased risk of becoming a victim of cyber attacks.
The report was prepared in anticipation of the next general election in the UK, due to take place before January 2025, and in connection with the Brexit vote that took place in the UK in 2016.
Evidence that the Kremlin directly interfered in the Brexit vote is so far inconclusive, although a 2020 report found that this was partly due to a lack of thorough assessment by the UK government.
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