Russia warned the West on Thursday that cyber attacks on its infrastructure could lead to a direct military confrontation.
Russia warned the West on Thursday that cyber-attacks on its infrastructure threatened to lead to a direct military confrontation, and that attempts to challenge Moscow on the cyber front would be met with targeted countermeasures.
The warning comes after the Russian housing ministry’s website was found to have been hacked over the weekend, with an internet search for the site leading to a sign saying “Glory to Ukraine” in Ukrainian.
In a statement, the State Department said Russia’s critical infrastructure and state institutions were affected by cyberattacks and pointed to figures in the United States and Ukraine as responsible.
“Rest assured, Russia will not leave aggressive actions unanswered,” it said. “All our steps will be measured, targeted, in accordance with our law and international law.”
The statement, issued by the ministry’s head of international information security, said Washington “deliberately lowered the threshold for combat use” of IT.
“The West’s militarization of the information space, and attempts to turn it into an arena of interstate confrontation, have greatly increased the threat of a direct military clash with unpredictable consequences,” it said.
The websites of many state-owned companies and news organizations have suffered from sporadic hacking attempts since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, often to expose information that conflicts with Moscow’s official line on the conflict.
Moscow says it is conducting a “special military operation” in the neighboring country to disarm and protect it from fascists. Ukraine and Western countries reject Russia’s claims as a pretext for an illegal invasion.
President Vladimir Putin said in May that the number of cyber attacks against Russia by foreign “state structures” had increased several times and called on the country to strengthen its IT security.