First News - - Science News -

RUS­SIA has launched cy­ber at­tacks against Bri­tish me­dia, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and en­ergy com­pa­nies over the past year.

Ciaran Martin, the head of the UK’s Na­tional Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Cen­tre (NCSC) re­vealed the trou­bling news in a speech last week. The UK’s na­tional grid, which pro­vides elec­tric­ity sup­plies across the coun­try, was hacked on this year’s gen­eral elec­tion day (8 June). Tele­phone and me­dia com­pa­nies were also tar­geted.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May re­cently ac­cused Rus­sia of launch­ing “a cam­paign of cy­beres­pi­onage (spy­ing) and dis­rup­tion”. Hack­ing im­por­tant things like our en­ergy and phone com­pa­nies could lead to se­ri­ous prob­lems for the coun­try’s elec­tric­ity sup­ply or a black­out on our mo­bile phones.

Pre­vi­ously, US in­tel­li­gence agen­cies ac­cused Rus­sia of in­ter­fer­ing in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion through email hacks and so­cial me­dia posts.

So why is Rus­sia be­hav­ing this way? Ten­sions have been high be­tween west­ern coun­tries and Rus­sia since pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin or­dered troops to in­vade and oc­cupy Crimea, a re­gion of its neigh­bour Ukraine, in 2014.

In 2015, Rus­sia al­legedly launched a cy­ber-at­tack on Ukraine’s power grid, dis­rupt­ing the coun­try’s elec­tric­ity sup­ply.

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