The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) says it has identified that ‘a number of cyber actors’ widely known to have been conducting cyber attacks around the world are, in fact, the GRU – the Russian military intelligence service.
It says the attacks have been conducted ‘in flagrant violation of international law’, have affected citizens in a large number of countries, including Russia, and have cost national economies millions of pounds.
The statement came as part of a joint message coordinated with the likes of the US and France.
Specifically, the NCSC says cyber attacks orchestrated by the GRU have attempted to undermine international sporting institution WADA, disrupt transport systems in Ukraine, destabilise democracies and target businesses.
It says the campaign by the GRU shows that it is working in secret to undermine international law and international institutions.
The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said: “These cyber attacks serve no legitimate national security interest, instead impacting the ability of people around the world to go about their daily lives free from interference, and even their ability to enjoy sport.
“The GRU’s actions are reckless and indiscriminate: they try to undermine and interfere in elections in other countries; they are even prepared to damage Russian companies and Russian citizens. This pattern of behaviour demonstrates their desire to operate without regard to international law or established norms and to do so with a feeling of impunity and without consequences.
“Our message is clear: together with our allies, we will expose and respond to the GRU’s attempts to undermine international stability.”
The statement from the NCSC used the strongest language possible, saying: “Given the high confidence assessment and the broader context, the UK government has made the judgement that the Russian Government – the Kremlin – was responsible.”
The body says the GRU are associated with the following names: