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NotPetya a Russian state-sponsored attack, says GCSB

Paul Brislen, Editor. 19 February 2018, 7:13 am

Operation "Fly Below The Radar" seems to have been put aside at GCSB head quarters with the announcement that we too condemn Russian involvement in last year's NotPetya cyber attack.

"While NotPetya masqueraded as a criminal ransomware campaign, its real purpose was to damage and disrupt systems," said director general of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Andrew Hampton.

NotPetya caused no small amounts of chaos last year with its ransomware attack that impacted on the UK's National Health Service, shipping company Mersk and dozens of others around the globe.

New Zealand escaped largely intact (thanks in no small part to ever vigilant IT managers patching and updating their systems with alacrity and speed) but Hampton says that's no reason not to condemn the attack.

"Calling out this type of behaviour - and making clear we expect all countries to comply with appropriate norms - is one of the things we can do to try keep New Zealand safe. In a globally connected world our relative geographic isolation offers no protection from cyber threats," he is quoted as saying on Radio New Zealand.

In the year to June, the GCSB recorded nearly 400 series incidents with one third being directed by what it calls "state-sponsored actors".

Russia, for its part, denies the allegations which follow similar noises from New Zealand's Five Eyes parents, the US, UK and Canada.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov is quoted by RNZ as saying the accusations were "unsubstantiated and groundless".

"It's not more than a continuation of the Russophobic campaign which is not based on any evidence."


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