Last Friday, the Department of Justice indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering with the 2016 elections. Also last week, several countries including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and Denmark accused Russia of being behind last summer’s NotPetya attack.
Even though both attacks had political targets, the final list of victims wasn’t limited to just political organizations and critical infrastructure providers. “NotPetya had substantial impact beyond the intended political targets, disrupting the IT systems and operations of thousands of civilian organizations worldwide,” says Steve Grobman, CTO at McAfee. “It’s critically important to ultimately hold nations accountable for the comprehensive damage inflicted by such attacks.”
Civilian organizations that are targeted by state-sponsored attacks or suffer collateral damage are at a disadvantage when it comes to identifying the attacker. Governments are in a better position to identify the perpetrators behind such attacks, Grobman says, since they have access not only to cyber forensics but also traditional intelligence data.
Read why state-sponsored cyber attacks should be top of mind for business leaders and how you can defend against them on CSO.