Russia warns of a “military clash” if it’s hit by US cyberattacks
A Russian cybersecurity official warned on Thursday that Western cyberattacks on the country’s critical infrastructure could lead to a “direct military clash.”
The remarks, which came from the Russian foreign ministry’s head of international information security and were first reported by Reuters, were delivered a little more than a week after NSA and Cyber Command chief General Paul Nakasone said that U.S. military hackers “conducted a series of operations” to support Ukraine.
The website for Russia’s housing ministry was also hacked over the weekend, redirecting users to a “Glory to Ukraine” banner, though that attack has not been definitively attributed yet.
“Rest assured, Russia will not leave aggressive actions unanswered,” the foreign ministry statement said. “All our steps will be measured, targeted, in accordance with our legislation and international law.”
Earlier in the week, Andrei Krutskikh, who has led the foreign ministry's department of international information security for the last two years, told Russian newspaper Kommersant that the U.S. “is using the Zelensky regime and the IT Army it created to carry out computer attacks against our country as a battering ram.” He added that attacks against the country’s critical infrastructure are constantly increasing.
"The militarization of the information space by the West, and attempts to turn it into an arena of interstate confrontation, have greatly increased the threat of a direct military clash with unpredictable consequences," the foreign ministry statement said.
At the same time, top U.S. cybersecurity officials have warned about Russian cyberattacks, cautioning that the country could deploy malware like NotPetya that might move through systems indiscriminately. Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the agency is “laser focused” on preventing Russian cyberattacks, which he warned could increase as the country continues to struggle in its war with Ukraine.
Adam Janofsky is the founding editor-in-chief of The Record by Recorded Future. He previously was the cybersecurity and privacy reporter for Protocol, and prior to that covered cybersecurity, AI, and other emerging technology for The Wall Street Journal.