Frank admission from White House on source of ransomware attack… Finally.
In a shocking turn of events, the White House has formally acknowledged Russia’s role in the NotPetya malware attack that was responsible for astronomical financial and service losses. The very short and to-the-point statement issued seven months after the worm was unleashed intimates that the function of the attack, carried out by the Kremlin, was to further destabilize the tense situation in the Ukraine.
What’s lacking from the statement, however, is any sort of mention that Russia was also targeting the US or American industry with this attack. That lack of direct acknowledgment speaks volumes about attitudes towards Russia, the Kremlin, and Putin himself, in light of the current presidential administration’s favorable view of Russia.
Last year, Congress voted almost unanimously to impose sanctions against Russia for interfering with the 2016 US election. It is widely believed that state-sponsored Russian operatives targeted voters with anti-Clinton smear campaigns, among other issues. Last month, Congress again voted for a law that would place even broader sanctions against Russia and companies that do business with them, but the president has so far refused to enact those sanctions. This has led to speculation as to how far the Russian collusion investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller may go, as well as the possibility that Donald Trump is being blackmailed by Putin. Mueller indicted thirteen Russian operatives for their interference just last week.
NotPetya affected businesses in more than 60 countries, and a rebuilt version of the worm called Bad Rabbit struck 200 companies last October. It’s interesting to note that when WannaCry was found to be the work of North Korean operatives, the White House quickly moved to denounce the country’s role in the cyberattack. It begs the question, why is the current president so loathe to even utter an unkind word in Russia’s direction while openly denouncing other countries for the same crime?
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