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UK, U.S. Condemn Russia over Georgia Cyberattack

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British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called out Russian campaign of cyberattacks against Georgia.

In a statement released on February 20, British Foreign office said that the UK, Georgia and international partners have exposed the GRU’s – Russia’s military intelligence service – responsibility for a number of significant cyber-attacks against Georgia last year.

“The UK is clear that the GRU conducted these cyber-attacks in an attempt to undermine Georgia’s sovereignty, to sow discord and disrupt the lives of ordinary Georgian people,” the statement further stressed.

Foreign Secretary Raab said that “the GRU’s reckless and brazen campaign of cyber-attacks against Georgia, a sovereign and independent nation, is totally unacceptable.”

He then noted that “the Russian Government has a clear choice: continue this aggressive pattern of behavior against other countries, or become a responsible partner which respects international law.”

According to British Foreign Secretary, the UK “will continue to expose those who conduct reckless cyber-attacks and work with our allies to counter the GRU’s menacing behavior.”

The U.S. Secretary of State also said that this action “contradicts Russia’s attempts to claim it is a responsible actor in cyberspace and demonstrates a continuing pattern of reckless Russian GRU cyber operations against a number of countries.”

“The United States calls on Russia to cease this behavior in Georgia and elsewhere… We also pledge our support to Georgia and its people in enhancing their cybersecurity and countering malicious cyber actors,” Pompeo said.

He highlighted that the U.S. will offer “additional capacity building and technical assistance to help strengthen Georgia’s public institutions and improve its ability to protect itself from these kinds of activities.”

A number of other countries have also joined UK and U.S. in condemning the Russian cyberattack against Georgia, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani thanked British and U.S. Secretaries, as well as the rest of the international community for their condemnation of Russia’s “disruptive” cyberattack against Georgia and “an attempt two infiltrate Georgia’s cyberspace.”

The Georgian Foreign Ministry announced on February 20 that the cyberattack of October 28, 2019 against the websites of Georgian government and private agencies, “was planned and carried out by the Main Division of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”

British Foreign Office statement stated that “the cyber programme responsible for these disruptions is known in open source variously as the Sandworm team, BlackEnergy Group, Telebots, and VoodooBear.” “It is operated by the GRU’s Main Centre of Special Technologies, often referred to by the abbreviation “GTsST” or its field post number 74455,” it added.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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