GCHQ Has Blamed a Number of High Profile Hacks on Russia

By Tom Pritchard on at

Oh Russia, what are you like? Not only are you trying to fix elections through social media, the GCHQ has now accused you of hacking various media, telecoms, and energy companies over the past year. You rascal, you.

Ok snap back to seriousness, because this is a serious topic. Whether it's Russia, Iran, North Korea, the US, or even the UK itself, any government that goes around hacking stuff on a whim isn't to be trusted.

Speaking at an event organised by The Times, Ciaran Martin, the GCHQ National Cyber Security Centre's chief executive, accused the Russians of the attacks claiming they are"seeking to undermine the international system". One such attack hit the UK's power grid on the same day as our last general election. Coincidence? They think not.

Martin also referenced Theresa May's recent claims that that Russia had "mounted a sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and disruption", saying:

"The prime minister made the point on Monday night - international order as we know it is in danger of being eroded. This is clearly a cause for concern and the NCSC is actively engaging with international partners, industry and civil society to tackle this threat."

The Times used this event to publish a report looking into how Russia might have influenced the Brexit referendum using Twitter bots - something that came up in the news only a few days ago. Rather than the small scale referenced by Wired earlier this week, The Times found that around 156,000 Russia-based Twitter accounts used #Brexit around referendum date. Many of those accounts are also assumed to be bots. The Guardian has also reported details of a University of Edinburgh study into Russian Twitter bots influencing the referendum. That only mentions 400 bots, however.

Russia's being bolder than ever, and it comes roughly the same time as politicians are trying to erode out own personal digital security. Great going, guys. [BBC News]

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