Russian infrastructure also suffers from hacker attacks

Internet Security And VPN's Become Essential As Cyberattacks Increase Dramatically

Number of hacker attacks on Russian critical infrastructure grows 3.5 times in 2020, says the Russian Security Council.

The number of hacker attacks on Russian critical infrastructure more than trebled in 2020, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Oleg Khramov said on July 7.

“There has been a growth in particularly dangerous computer attacks, including those on Russian critical infrastructure. They grew 3.5 times in 2020,” Khramov said according to Russian news agency Interfax.

The number of cybercrimes has increased from 65,000 to 510,000 over the past five years, he said.

“The cybercrime statistics of 2020 shows that thefts and frauds constitute a substantial part of such activities (173,000 and 210,000, respectively),” Khramov said.

“Many of us have experienced discomfort and have unwillingly bore witness to fraudulent calls, including from alleged bank security officers,” he said.

Kharmov’s remarks come as up to 2,000 business around the world are being held ransom by Russian hacking group REvil.

REvil are demanding up to $70 million in crypto currencies after they infiltrated Florida-based IT company Kayesa. The attack is believed to be “the biggest ransomware attack on record”.

It is still unclear how many customers were affected but the figure could reach 2,000, including a supermarket chain in Sweden that had to close 800 shops and at least 145 victims in the US.

In June REvil targeted JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier knocking its systems offline. JBS supplies, which supplies meat to McDonald’s, was temporarily forced to close two plants.

Fred Voccola, Kaseya’s chief executive officer, told Reuters he could not confirm whether Kaseya would pay the $70m ransom. The company had hoped to go public later this year.

In May, fuel supplies in some parts of the US were disrupted by a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. US authorities have since confirmed Russian hackers were behind the attack.

On July 7, the Republican National Committee also denied that “Cozy Bear’ Russian hackers accessed their data during a breach of an outsourced provider last week.

White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said the US will convene an interagency group to discuss the increase in ransomware attacks.

“As the president made clear to President Putin when they met, if the Russian government cannot or will not take action against criminal actors in Russia, we will take action or reserve the right,” Psaki said on July 7.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.