Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

NotPetya installed on a laptop. Donat Sorokin / Getty

Hours after the U.K. publicly attributed the NotPetya malware to the Russian military, the White House confirmed that Russia was behind the attack.

Why it matters: The White House has been loath to speak ill of Russia under any circumstance. NotPetya was a global disaster. The shipping giant Maersk alone lost $300 million in the incident, with ports closed worldwide. Government computers in several countries were hit, as well as American firms like the food giant Mondelez. But the malware did 80% of its damage in Ukraine, according to the cybersecurity firm ESET.

What they're saying: "In June 2017, the Russian military launched the most destructive and costly cyber-attack in history," Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote in a statement to reporters Thursday afternoon. The attack "was part of the Kremlin’s ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine and demonstrates ever more clearly Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict. This was also a reckless and indiscriminate cyber-attack that will be met with international consequences."

The details: Hackers affixed NotPetya to an update of the Ukrainian accounting software M.E.Doc in June, 2017. It was meant to look like ransomware, a program that encrypted files across the network of any computer it infected, but the program was intentionally designed not to be able to decrypt files even if a victim paid a ransom.

The intrigue: White House attributions of cyber events used to be rare because openly acknowledging a foreign actor was geopolitically risky and seemed to demand a response. President Obama only attributed three campaigns to foreign actors - Russia's attack in the 2016 election, Iranian hackers targeting banks and Chinese hackers stealing intellectual property for Chinese companies. In only about a year, Trump has nearly tied the score.

The big picture: NotPetya was the second of two ransomware or ransomware-like attacks the Trump government has attributed to a foreign nation. The White House attributed WannaCry, a similarly pandemic attack only weeks before NotPetya, to North Korea. In both cases the attribution came after the U.K. initiated.

Go deeper

Woman who allegedly stole laptop from Pelosi's office to sell to Russia is arrested

Photo: FBI

A woman accused of breaching the Capitol and planning to sell to Russia a laptop or hard drive she allegedly stole from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office was arrested in Pennsylvania's Middle District Monday, the Department of Justice said.

Driving the news: Riley June Williams, 22, is charged with illegally entering the Capitol as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct. She has not been charged over the laptop allegation and the case remains under investigation, per the DOJ.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.