Feb 15, 2018

U.K. points finger at Russia for massive NotPetya attacks

NotPetya malware wiped hard drives disguised as the Petya ransomware. Photo: Alexander Ryumin / Getty

The British National Cyber Security Centre said Thursday that "the Russian military was almost certainly responsible" for the disastrous NotPetya malware attack.

Why it matters: NotPetya created massive global damage last June, with $300 million to shipping giant Maersk alone. But, cybersecurity firm ESET calculated that 80% of its damages were centered in Ukraine. That was by design. The malware was affixed in an update to accounting software M.E.Doc, which is widely and almost exclusively used in Ukraine.

Deja Vu: Russia is linked to a large number of cyberattacks against its European neighbors, with particular venom towards the former Soviet Bloc and especially Ukraine. The country has faced several blackouts caused by cyberattacks believed to be launched by Moscow, and believes Russia almost comedically botched an election hacking scheme in 2014.

NotPetya is presented as ransomware, a high tech extortion scheme where malware encrypts files and charges users for the decryption key. But in this case, NotPetya was deliberately capable of decrypting files, even if the user paid. Most experts believe NotPetya was intended to cause damage rather than make money.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,273,990 — Total deaths: 69,444 — Total recoveries: 260,247Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 337,310 — Total deaths: 9,634 — Total recoveries: 17,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Intelligence community watchdog suggests Trump fired him for doing his job

Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community,at the Capitol in October. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson suggested in a statement Sunday President Trump fired him for acting impartially in carrying out his duties following a whistleblower complaint.

Why it matters: Atkinson alerted Congress last September to the complaint on Trump's correspondence with Ukraine's president, triggering an inquiry that resulted in the Trump's impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,500 in the U.S. Sunday evening, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health