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US ignoring client state hack attacks, Russia complains

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted the findings of a probe by the EU’s Europol and Eurojust agencies. The investigation, designed to catch and arrest online ransomware groups, revealed that there were no less than 2,000 victims spanning 71 countries from at least one operation by a cybercrime organization.

According to the official, companies in the US, UK, France, and other Western states were affected. The total damage incurred amassed a whopping $120 million, with the groups said to have been operating since at least 2019.

“But where are the statements by Western partners about ‘Ukrainian hackers’ and the attacks carried out by them?” Zakharova asked.

“Where are the threats of sanctions for Kiev’s ‘years-long failure to combat IT crimes allegedly carried out from the state’s territory with the connivance of national security services?’” she added, echoing Washington’s condemnation of purported Russian hacking.

Zakharova slammed the White House’s silence on the findings, given that the FBI was involved in the joint law enforcement missions, sarcastically proposing that “maybe American intelligence had no idea of the existence of non-Russian hackers?”

Earlier this month, the FBI placed a Russian man on its wanted list after he allegedly orchestrated ransomware attacks worth millions of dollars against numerous victims, as well as businesses and government entities.

The US Justice Department has also announced charges against a Ukrainian national for a string of cybercrimes. The man in question is accused of being behind the July hacking of American software company Kaseya.

Cybersecurity has been a key area of focus for American envoys since President Joe Biden took office. Representatives from Moscow and Washington are said to have held four rounds of discussions on the matter by July. Earlier this year, Biden asked his counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, to “take action” against cybercriminals based in Russian territory.

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