Cybercriminal groups based in Russia have been blamed by the United Kingdom's cyber security head for the most "devastating" ransomware attacks in the country.
Lindy Cameron, the head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said that ransomware attacks pose "the most immediate danger" to businesses in the U.K. NCSC is an arm of the UK's Government Communications Headquarters or GCHQ.
A number of ransomware attacks and other cyberattacks took place this year. Many of these ransomware attacks have targeted businesses in the United States. Examples are the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and Kaseya ransomware attack.
The Kaseya ransomware attack, in particular, has been blamed on a Russian ransomware gang known as REvil, since it disappeared from the internet.
Russian Cyber Criminals Blamed for Most 'Devastating' Attacks
Russian-based cyber criminal attacks have been blamed by the head of the NCSC for the most "devastating" ransomware attacks carried out against the UK.
According to NCSC head Lindy Cameron, as cited in a report by the BBC, ransomware attacks, in particular, "present 'the most immediate danger' to UK businesses in cyberspace."
The report defines ransom attacks as "cyberattacks which see hackers get inside computer networks and lock the owners out until they pay a ransom." Should victims refuse to pay the demanded ransom, cyberattackers usually threaten to release the information they have stolen to the public.
The NCSC head also said that ransomware attacks will continue to be attractive for cybercriminals as long as businesses and organizations remain vulnerable and willing to pay the demanded ransom.
The BBC report cited cyberattacks against the Hackney Borough Council and Ireland's Health Service Executive as examples of attacks against U.K.'s organizations.
Ransomware Attacks by Russian Cybercrime Groups
2021 saw a rise in cyberattacks, and many of these attacks were made by cybercriminal groups based in Russia.
An example of a cyberattack carried by a Russian-based cybercrime group is the Kaseya ransomware attack, which occurred during the 4th of July weekend in the United States. The attack was carried out by a Russian ransomware group known as REvil, who also launched a similar ransomware attack on meat producer JBS.
A US defense contractor, Sol Oriens, was also attacked by REvil in June. The hackers were able to steal data from the company, which is known for its connection to the nuclear weapons program of the United States.
Much to the surprise of security experts and different governments, REvil vanished without a trace. Kaseya was also able to obtain a universal decryptor tool.
U.S. President Joe Biden had launched a federal probe on the Kaseya ransomware attack and gave a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the cyberattacks coming from Russia.
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Written by Isabella James