On July 16th, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that Russia “almost certainly” attempted to interfere in the 2019 UK elections.
This was made in a written statement to UK parliament on Cyber Security.
“On the basis of extensive analysis, the Government has concluded that it is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 General Election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents.
The UK will continue to call out and respond to malign activity, including any attempts to interfere in our democratic processes, alongside our international partners. We fully support the recent action taken by our German partners who exposed Russian responsibility for the hack of their Parliament in 2015 as well as their intention to act against those responsible under the cyber sanctions regime. The UK Government laid the statutory instrument for our own cyber sanctions regime on 17 June.”
But no sanctions will be imposed now, however, the UK government reserves its right to respond with appropriate measures in the future.
The most significant part is something different – while there is absolutely no evidence that such a campaign took place, and Dominic Raab admits it, there is simply no doubt that it happened.
“Whilst there is no evidence of a broad spectrum Russian campaign against the General Election, any attempt to interfere in our democratic processes is completely unacceptable. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections.”
Additionally, Russian spies are targeting organizations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, US and Canada.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers “almost certainly” operated as “part of Russian intelligence services”.
It didn’t specifically say which organization had been targeted, but said that attempts at a vaccine were untouched.
The warning was published by the UK’s NCSC, the Canadian Communication Security Establishment (CSE), the United States Department for Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber-security Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the US’ NSA.
“This report details recent Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) of the group commonly known as ‘APT29’, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’.
The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE) assess that APT29 (also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’) is a cyber espionage group, almost certainly part of the Russian intelligence services. The United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) agrees with this attribution and the details provided in this report.”
The overview describes the alleged tactics used such as malware and other methods. [pdf]
Russia denied responsibility.
“We do not have information about who may have hacked into pharmaceutical companies and research centres in Great Britain. We can say one thing – Russia has nothing at all to do with these attempts,” said Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson.
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