Ukraine’s Security Service Blames Russia for Petya Cyberattack

Ukraine’s security service has claimed it has obtained proof that its Russian counterpart was involved in the cyber-attack.

On Saturday, Ukraine’s state security service (SBU) claimed that Russian security forces were involved in the ‘Petya’ ransomware outbreak, further alleging that the cyberattack was designed to destroy rather than secure ransom payments.

The ransom demands, the SBU claimed, was a cover for the attack which started in Ukraine before propagating around the world last week. The SBU also added that the cyberattack was spurred by the same hackers who infamously targeted Ukraine’s power grid late last year. That December attack also saw the country’s transport and financial systems targeted. The cyberattack led to an outage that saw parts of Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, experience power blackouts.

Notably, the attack followed another high-profile power outage in December 2015 which left 225,000 people in the dark in Ukraine. The US Department of Homeland Security blamed the outage on hackers in what is widely seen as the first-known successful cyber intrusion to take down a power grid.

The SBU combed through data obtained from security firms and antivirus companies around the world to establish a connection with a previously recorded attack involving the Petya virus.

The SBU said:

The available data, including those obtained in cooperation with international antivirus companies, gives us reason to believe that the same hacking groups are involved in the attacks, which in December 2016 attacked the financial system, transport and energy facilities of Ukraine using TeleBots and BlackEnergy. This testifies to the involvement of the special services of Russian Federation in this attack.

The most recent cyberattack has had a significant impact on Ukrainian businesses. The country’s police claimed they received about 1,000 messages from cyberattack victims in a 24-hour period following last week’s cyberattack. A total of 150 companies have gone the measure to file official complaints with the police.

Image credit: Wikimedia.