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Russia is Accused by the UK of Conducting Cyberattacks Over a Span of Years

British government officials have recently announced that the Russian intelligence service has been carrying out a long-term cyberattack campaign targeting high-profile individuals such as politicians, civil servants, and journalists. This action is part of unsuccessful efforts to interfere with political processes in the UK and US. The announcement was part of a joint action with allies, including the US, which announced related indictments and sanctions on Thursday. The UK’s Foreign Office confirmed that a group almost certainly linked to the Russian intelligence service had engaged in sustained cyberespionage, using spear-phishing attacks to target lawmakers from across the political spectrum, as early as 2015. The group also selectively leaked and amplified information to undermine trust in politics in the UK and like-minded states. Russia has denied any state-sponsored attacks, but the British government also linked the 2018 hack of the Institute for Statecraft and a 2021 hack of the founder of that organization. Britain is sanctioning two individuals identified as members of the attacking group, and the US has issued indictments against the two men, accusing Moscow of engaging in a spearfishing campaign to hack into the accounts of American government officials from 2016 to 2022. David Cameron, Britain’s foreign secretary, has stated that Russia’s actions are “completely unacceptable” and have failed despite repeated attempts. In addition to summoning the Russian ambassador to Britain, Britain announced sanctions against two people linked to the group, stating that the hackers have tried to create chaos in democratic processes. Finally, the British government has issued a new cybersecurity advisory, along with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, and published updated guidance for people at a higher risk of cyber threats. Paul Chichester, the director of operations for Britain’s National Cyber Security Center, emphasized that individuals and organizations that play an important role in democracy must bolster their cybersecurity.

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